Appeal Court voids Tribunal Decision, Affirms APC’s Sule as Nasarawa Governor

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has overturned the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal and reinstated Governor Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected Governor of Nasarawa State.

The tribunal had previously sacked Sule and declared David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

The tribunal held that there were calculation errors that led to the declaration of the 2nd defendant (Abdullahi Sule) as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and subsequently ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate issued to him and awarded to the 1st Petitioner (David Emmanuel Ombugadu).

However, the three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam JCA unanimously ruled that Sule was not given a fair hearing by the tribunal and that the tribunal’s decision was based on inadmissible evidence.

According to the court, “The tribunal was wrong to have countenanced the evidence of the subpoenaed witnesses whose witness statements on oath were not front-loaded alongside the petition. Therefore, the evidence of PW5, PW6, PW7, PW8, PW12, PW13, PW20 & PW21 and all the exhibits tendered through them are expunged from the records of the Court for been consequently incompetent and hence struck out.”

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