…Reverses Appeal Court Ruling, Reinstates Mutfwang As Plateau Governor … Affirms Nwifuru As Ebonyi Governor …Upholds Alex Otti’s Victory in Abia State The Supreme Court has affirmed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Lagos State, while dismissing the appeals of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abdulazeez Adeniran
…Reverses Appeal Court Ruling, Reinstates Mutfwang As Plateau Governor
… Affirms Nwifuru As Ebonyi Governor
…Upholds Alex Otti’s Victory in Abia State
The Supreme Court has affirmed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Lagos State, while dismissing the appeals of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abdulazeez Adeniran (also known as Jandor) and that of the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour who challenged the outcome of the polls.
In a unanimous judgement read by Justice Garba Lawal on behalf of the five-member panel, the apex court ruled against the appeal of the candidate of the Labour Party who had claimed that the deputy governor of Lagos State Obafemi Hamzat was not qualified to contest in the poll because he has acquired the citizenship of the United States of America.
Justice Adamu Jauro, while reading the judgement also dismissed the appeal of the PDP candidate, Abdulazeez Adediran who had approached the apex court to declare him the winner of the election on the basis of alleged irregularities, malpractices, non-compliance, and non-qualification.
The Supreme court stated that there was no compelling argument to differ with the concurrent rulings of the tribunal and Court of Appeal, which had ruled that Sanwo-Olu was duly elected to the office of governor of Lagos.
Legal fireworks on the outcome of the Lagos State Governorship Elections began when both the candidates of PDP and Labour Party dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC and its candidates to the governorship election petition tribunal to challenge the outcome of the state poll in March.
Mr Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour and Mr Adediran requested the tribunal to reverse Mr Sanwo-Olu’s victory. The tribunal, however, rejected their requests and went on to declare Sanwo-Olu as the legitimate winner of the gubernatorial contest.
Not satisfied with the tribunal ruling, they approached the appellate court seeking justice in their favour, but a three-man panel of the Court led by Justice Yargata Nimpar, also dismissed their prayers for lacking in merit.
Apex Court Reverses Appeal Court Ruling, Reinstates Mutfwang As Plateau Governor
In a different turn of event, the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday, affirmed Caleb Mutfwang as the governor of Plateau state, reversing the ruling of the Appeal Court which had ruled in favour of the candidate of All Progressives Congress in the March 18th governorship election, Nentawe Yilwatda.
The apex court judgement read by Justice Agim overruled the position of the appeal court with the submission that the lower does not have jurisdiction to decide on the party nomination, given that the matter falls under pre-election issue.
The Supreme Court also noted that since Nentawe Yilwatda is not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, he does not have the locus to meddle into the affairs of the party, therefore the Supreme Court indicted the appellate court for being perverse in its ruling.
Recall that The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr. Mutfwang of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the state governorship election held last year, having polled 525,299 votes to beat his closest opposition, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Nentawe Yilwatda, who garnered 481,370.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the poll, the candidate of the APC approached the state election petition tribunal to upturn the outcome of the poll but the Tribunal upheld the governor’s election as the right winner of the poll.
In a twisted plot of event, the candidate of APC, not satisfied with the tribunal’s rulling approached the Appeal Court and was declared the winner of state governorship election, overturning Governor Mutfwang’s victory.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the Appeal court, the Governor approached the apex court to overrule the judgement of the lower court and affirm him as the valid winner of the poll.
Supreme Court Affirms Nwifuru As Governor
The Supreme Court also affirmed the victory of the candidate of All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru as the duly elected Governor of the state after dismissing the issues raised by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Ifeanyi Odii.
Justice Tijani Abubakar, who led a five-member panel held that the appeal of Ifeanyi Odii and his party is unmeritorious and will not stand a chance of reversing the decisions of the tribunal and appeal court.
The PDP candidate had approached the tribunal and court to nullify the victory of the March 18th governorship election in the state on the ground that the APC candidate was not properly nominated by its party and that calls for his disqualification as a candidate of his party.
Both the Election tribunal and the Appellate court of Appeal dismissed the appeal filed by Chukwuma Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for lacking merit on the ground he and his party had no legal right to interfere with the APC’s internal matters over candidate nominations.
Mr Odii further took his prayers to the apex court to upturn the rulings of the lower court, but he met a similar ruling.
Supreme Court Upholds Alex Otti’s Victory in Abia.
Justice Uwani Abba-Aji while delivering the judgment dismissed the appeal against the victory of Otti. She held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit.
Different appeals were lodged against Otti, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party, LP, by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okey Ahiwe, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike.
In a lead judgment delivered by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the apex court affirmed Otti’s qualification and victory Otti had emerged victorious in the March 18, 2023, Abia state governorship election, securing 175,466 votes to defeat his major opponents.
In March 2023, Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) was declared the winner of the state’s governorship election after he polled 175,466 votes to defeat Ahiwe of the PDP. Aggrieved Ahiwe and his party challenged the outcome of the election at the state election petition tribunal.
They contended that Otti was not qualified to run for the election because he was not a registered member of the LP and forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate. The tribunal ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations against the respondent, Otti.