LIVE UPDATES: Supreme Court rules on Sokoto, Kano, other governorship appeals

NJC: Supreme Court of Nigeria (judge)
Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court is set to give judgements on five governorship election appeals today.

They are those of Imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Plateau and Benue States.

In the March 9 elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared governors Emeka Ihedioha of Imo, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Simon Lalong of Plateau and Samuel Ortom of Benue winners of governorship elections in their respective states.

The different appeals before the apex court were filed on different dates by the various aggrieved candidates.

The candidates are challenging judgements of Election Tribunals and the Appeal Courts, which upheld the elections.

Anchoring their grievances on non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the issue of over-voting among other charges, the candidates want the apex court to declare them winners of the governorship elections.

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, will deliver judgements on the cases on Tuesday

PREMIUM TIMES is bringing you the details of the final proceedings at the Supreme Court as they unfold.

LIVE UPDATES



Kano
The lawyer to Abba Yusuf of the People Democratic Party(PDP), Adegboyega Awomolo, in adopting his written address asked the court to allow the appeal and grant all the appellant prayers.
Mr Awomolo noted that the returning officer cancelled results in 207 polling units, declared the election inconclusive and rescheduled another election for 23rd March, 2019.
Mr Awolowo summited that the cancellation made by the state returning officer in 207 polling units after announcing the entire results in the state is ultra vires his powers and the declaration of the election as inconclusive is also ultra vires.

According to the senior lawyer, “Therefore, the result of the second rescheduled election of March 23” is null and void.

“The only lawful votes at the Kano state governorship election … were those announced by the returning officer on March 11.

“In conclusion, I urge your lordship to allow this appeal on the grounds that the appellant scored the highest votes at the election of March 9, 2019 and satisfied section 179 (2) a and b,” the lawyer saud.


On his part, the lawyer representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ahmed Raji, urged the court to summarily dismiss the appeal.
Mr Raji held that it is not correct that the returning officer cancelled votes.
He said the evidence laid did not prove any cancellation.

M. Duru, the lawyer to the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, said they have addressed all the issues raised in their brief of argument.

Mr Duru said the appellant’s premise, exhibit P1 which is form EC8D, upon which the appellant based his argument, does not contain the results of all the 44 local governments that make up Kano State, contrary to his assertion.

According to him, the form EC8D does not contain the results of the 207 polling units. Therefore, there was absolutely no way, the returning officer could have declared a winner out of that result.

Mr Ganduje’s lawyer stressed that out of the 207 polling units, 62 polling units were from Gama ward and the results from that unit were not collated by relevant officers as agents of the appellant carted away the results, locked himself up in a room with a pen, stayed there for an hour, did not return the results to INEC, but took them to the commissioner of police in the state.

He said allowing the appeal would mean sanctioning election violence, giving credit to somebody who has clearly violated the law and admitted the same.

Mr Duru urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal with substantial cost of N5 million.


The APC lawyer, Alex Iziyion, on his part said the court should discontinuance the issues formulated by the appelants. He urged the court to dismiss the appeal.


The CJN announced that judgment in the Kano State governorship appeal is to be delivered on January 20.


Court rises, to reconvene in few minutes.


The court has reconvened.

After re-convening, the CJN announced that with the provisions of the Electoral Act which stipulates that governorship appeal should be heard and determined on or before 60 days, the apex court would be taking Imo and Sokoto states, whose appeals would elapse on January 17.


Imo State

Yusuf Ali, representing the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Ifeanyi Ararume, adopted the appellant’s brief of argument, which was filed on December 13.

Mr Ali asked the court to allow the appeal.

The first, second and third respondents, all adopted their brief of argument filed on different dates in December 2019. They all urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal.

After adopting their brief, Justice Mohammed announced that judgement would be delivered today.


The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA), challenging the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

This followed, the withdrawal of the appeal by Mr Nwosu’s lawyer, Solomon Umoh.

The respondents in the matter did not object to the application of Mr Nwosu to withdraw his appeal before the apex court.

In a unanimous ruling read by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, the apex court dismissed Mr Nwosu’s appeal.

The Supreme Court had on December 20 held that Mr Nwosu was not a candidate in the March 9 governorship election.

Mr Nwosu was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until he defected to the AA before the elections. He was supported by the then outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Mr Ihedioha eventually defeated the candidates of the AA, APC and other parties to win the election.


Sokoto State

In the appeal filed by Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressive Congress(APC)against the re-election of Governor Aminu Tambuwal as Sokoto governor, the court has stood down its session for about two hours to re-convene and deliver judgement in the appeal.

The apex court would also deliver judgement in the appeals filed by Mr Ararume of APGA and Hope Uzodinma of APC, in which they also challenged the victory of Mr Ihedioha.

The court is on break


Court resumes session at 5:55 p.m.


The Supreme Court has nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Imo State.

The apex court declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad gave the unanimous decision on Tuesday in Abuja.


The Supreme Court adjourned to Monday to deliver judgement in the appeal of Mr Aliyu against Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

The appeals of Bauchi, Benue and Plateau state, were also adjourned to a later date to be communicated.

Court closes session for the day.



































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