The Supreme Court Has Upheld The Election Victories Of Inuwa, Sule, Sani, And Others , Yesterday, the Supreme Court confirmed the electoral successes of six governors who emerged victorious in the March 18, 2023 governorship elections in their respective states. The governors, namely Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Uba Sani of Kaduna, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe, and Nasir Idris of Kebbi, had their election victories affirmed by the Supreme Court, as various appeals attempting to invalidate their elections were dismissed.


    Upheld The Election

    The appeal challenging the Court of Appeal’s judgment affirming Sheriff Oborevwori as the governor of Delta State was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Despite petitions from other candidates, including Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC, Ken Pela of the Labour Party, and Kenneth Gbagi of the SDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Oborevwori, the PDP candidate, as the winner. The tribunal and the Court of Appeal had both upheld Oborevwori’s victory, leading to the appeal to the Supreme Court. The apex court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeal for lacking merit and being incompetent.


    The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by David Ombugadu of the PDP seeking to overturn the electoral victory of Governor Abdullahi Sule. Ombugadu had challenged the outcome of the election after INEC declared Sule the winner. The Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal initially declared Ombugadu the validly elected governor, but the Court of Appeal in Abuja overturned this decision, affirming Sule’s election. The Supreme Court’s decision upholds the victory of Governor Sule in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

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    Persisting in his efforts, David Ombugadu appealed to the Supreme Court. However, Justice Kudirat Kekere Ekun, delivering the lead judgment, dismissed Ombugadu’s appeal, declaring it devoid of merit, vexatious, and incompetent. The unanimous decision by the panel held that all related appeals should comply with the current judgment. Additionally, the panel ordered the parties involved to bear their respective costs. Governor Sule had been initially declared the winner by INEC, and despite Ombugadu’s challenge at the tribunal, Sule’s victory was affirmed by the Supreme Court.


    The Supreme Court also rejected an appeal by Jibrin Barde of the PDP contesting the election of Governor Muhammad Yahaya. In a unanimous decision, the apex court, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, dismissed Barde’s appeal for lack of merit. The panel concluded that Barde’s appeal was incompetent and thus should be dismissed. Consequently, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal’s decision in Abuja, which had earlier upheld Yahaya’s election as Governor of Gombe State in November 2023. The appellate court had dismissed two separate appeals challenging Yahaya’s victory in the March 18 governorship election.


    The Supreme Court also affirmed Uba Sani of the APC as the duly elected governor of Kaduna State. In a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of the apex court, the appeal filed by Mohammed Ashiru of the Peoples Democratic Party was dismissed for lacking merit. Justice Tijjani Abubakar, who delivered the lead judgment, declared the appellant’s appeal as frivolous, vexatious, and without merit. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had previously declared Sani the winner of the poll with 730,001 votes, defeating Ashiru, who secured 719,196 votes in the March 18 governorship election.


    Nasir Idris

    The Supreme Court also dismissed an appeal by the PDP and its candidate, Aminu Bande, seeking to overturn Nasir Idris’s election as Kebbi governor. The apex court ruled that the appeal lacked merit, with Justice Uwani Abba-Aji delivering the lead judgment. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared the Kebbi gubernatorial election inconclusive in March 2023 due to “massive vote cancellation and over-voting” in 20 of the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state. A supplementary election was conducted on April 15, 2023, with Idris securing 409,225 votes to defeat Bande, who received 360,940 votes. Bande and the PDP rejected the result, filing a petition before the tribunal, which was dismissed. The appellate court also affirmed the governor’s election.


    The Supreme Court affirmed Dapo Abiodun’s electoral victory as the governor of Ogun State in the March 18, 2023 elections. Justice Tijani Abubakar delivered the lead judgment, dismissing the appeal by the PDP and its candidate, Ladi Adebutu. The apex court upheld the decisions of the lower courts that had dismissed Adebutu’s petition, ruling it as grossly incompetent. The judgment stated that the appeal was unmeritorious and deserved dismissal, with each party instructed to bear its respective costs. Abiodun was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after securing 276,298 votes, defeating Adebutu, who polled 262,383 votes.

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