The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia has nullified the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.
Delivering the judgment virtually, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi declared Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP as the lawful elected Governor of the State.
The tribunal chairman maintained that the evidence presented by the petitioner indicated that, Emmanuel Ombugadu scored majority of the lawful votes cast during the March 18 Governorship election in the state.
Justice Ezekiel Ajayi directed the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to issue a certificate of return to Emmanuel Ombugadu.
Justice Chiemelie Onaga on her part, aligned with the verdict of the chairman of the tribunal, adding that the petitioner scored the majority of the lawful votes.
In a dissenting judgment, Justice Ibrahim Mashi dismissed the petition for the inability of the petitioner to demonstrate how he scored the majority of the votes.
Tribunal quashes NNPP’s petition against Governor Sule
Earlier, the Tribunal quashed the petition filed by the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) challenging the victory of Governor Abdullahi Sule in the State’s Governorship election, for lacking in merit.
The also dismissed NNPP’s preliminary motion of non-qualification of the Nasarawa State Governor filed by the candidate of the Party, Abdullahi Maidoya, for lacking in merit.
Delivering the verdict, one of the members of the panel, Justice Chiemelie Onaga, said the petitioner failed to prove his case against the governor after dumping his documents at the tribunal.
The NNPP candidate had on April 7 approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Abdullahi Sule as winner of the governorship election in Nasarawa State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The election umpire had on March 20, 2023, declared Governor Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the governorship election in the state.
He was re-elected for a second term in office after defeating his closest contender, David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Abdullahi Maidoya of the NNPP.
Writing by Kalu Idika; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Annabel Nwachukwu and Tony Okerafor