Daily Metro News NG
The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja has fixed August 31, to deliver judgement in the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr. Musa Wada.
Engr. Wada who is challenging the November 16, 2019, gubernatorial election victory of Yahaya Bello, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the Governor of Kogi State.
The PDP insisted that its candidate won the November 16, 2019 governorship election, Engr. Wada is claiming that the election that brought in Mr Bello as governor of the Kogi state was filled with serious electoral infractions.
The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court which was presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, fixed the date to deliver judgments in two separate appeals challenging the victory of Mr. Bello shortly after hearing submissions of lawyers to parties in the separate suits.
The two appeals fixed for judgment are that of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti.
Wada through his lawyer, Jibrin Okutepa pleaded with the Apex Court to allow his appeal.
However, lawyer to Governor Bello, Joseph Daudu, and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Alex Izinyon, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Mr Daudu specifically pleaded with the apex court to affirm the concurrent decisions of the Court of Appeal and the state governorship election petition tribunal which dismissed Wada’s petition.
In the second appeal filed by the SDP and its governorship candidate Natasha Akpoti, the apex court also announced its decision to give a final verdict on the same day with that of the PDP.
While arguing their brief, the two appellants had pleaded with the panel of the apex court to set aside the findings of the Court of Appeal and the Tribunal and allow their appeal to succeed.
Counsel to INEC, Dr Alex Izinyon and Paul Daudu in their separate arguments prayed for an outright dismissal of the appeal.
A third appeal filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and its governorship candidate, Usman Mohammed was, however, dismissed after it was withdrawn by the appellants.
The appeal was a sequel to the Court’s prompting on the eligibility of its candidate who was said to be 31 years instead of the mandatory 35 years.
In May, Mr. Wada lost his petition at the election tribunal which sat in Abuja
In the judgment of two to one, delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, the tribunal held that the petitioner had failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, massive thumb printing, voter intimidation, and other electoral malpractices.
The tribunal also awarded a cost of one million naira to be paid by the petitioners, PDP and Musa Wada to INEC, Yahaya Bello, and APC who are the respondents.
Thereafter, Engr. Wada lost his appeal before the Court of Appeal, being dissatisfied with the judgement, he approached the Apex Court.