The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State, after dismissing the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr Musa Wada, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Natasha Akpoti.
PDP candidate, Mr Wada had claimed that the governorship election held on November 16, 2019, was riddled with serious electoral infractions; rigging and over-voting, and that Governor Bello didn’t secure the highest vote.
While the SDP candidate, Mrs Akpoti had filed seven grounds of appeal which includes an allegation of age falsification against the Kogi State Deputy Governor.
The appellants prayed the court to nullify the Certificate of Return that was issued to Governor Bello by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and order fresh election in Kogi State.
However, in its Judgement delivered on Monday, August 31, 2020, the Apex Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, disagreed with the appeal filed by both Appellants.
Justice Tanko held that allegations of corruption the Appellants raised against the election were criminal in nature, and therefore ought to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Having resolved all the issues against the appellants, it is abundantly clear that the appeal is devoid of any scintilla of merit and it is accordingly dismissed, the court ruled.
Other members of the panel include Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Inyang Okoro, Amina Augie, Uwani Abba-Aji.
Mr Wada approached the Supreme Court after his petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on July 4th, 2020 with a split decision of two to one.
KanyiDaily recalls that the INEC had returned Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Kogi governor on November 18, 2019, having scored the highest number of votes in the poll.