Just In: Appeal Court Declares Sule Winner Of Nasarawa Guber Poll

The Court of Appeal has declared the Nasarawa Governor, Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the authentic winner of the 2023 Governorship election in the State.

In its judgment Thursday in Abuja, the Appeal Court set aside the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal that voided his election and declared David Ombugadu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) winner.

The three-member panel of the Appeal Court led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam said, the Tribunal acted in error by failing to consider the issue of jurisdiction before arriving at its judgment on October 2, 2023.

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According to the lead judgment read by Justice Onyemenam, the Court holds that the Tribunal had a fundamental duty to hear issues of jurisdiction before going ahead to hear the main case, as failing to do so renders the outcome null and void.

It holds further that the Tribunal’s failure to hear Sule’s issue on jurisdiction raised during the Tribunal proceedings renders it in breach of his rights to a fair hearing.

On the merit of the the case, the Appellate Court says David Ombugadu and the PDP didn’t have enough grounds to sustain the claim of over voting which was key among the reasons for the Tribunal voiding the election of Abdullahi Sule of the APC.

The Appellate Court, further holds that Ombugadu and the PDP could not prove overvoting owing to their failure to produce original INEC documents, adding that the Tribunal therefore erred in deducting 1,868 votes of Sule in four polling units.

On the contentious Chiroma and Gayam ward, the Court holds that Ombugadu and PDP brought witnesses whose statements are borne out of hearsay.

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