The Court of Appeal on Thursday in Abuja overturned the judgement of the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which had declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. David Ombugadu, as the winner of the 18th March election.
The three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, affirmed the governor’s election in its unanimous decision.
Deciding Sule’s appeal challenging the tribunal’s verdict, the Court of Appeal ruled that the PDP candidate failed to prove his allegation of over-voting levelled against the governor.
Justice Onyemenam said the state Election Petition Tribunal was wrong to have concluded that Sule did not score majority of the valid votes cast in the election.
He dismissed the lower court’s majority decision, but upheld the dissenting judgement.
Sule scored a total of 347,209 votes to beat his closest challenger, Ombugadu, who garnered 283,016 votes.
However, on 2nd October, in a split judgement of two to one, a three-member tribunal, led by Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, declared Ombugadu the validly elected governor.
Evaluating the evidence before the panel, Justice Ajayi held that Ombugadu tendered the results of the various polling stations and forms EC 8A and substantiated his claim that polls results were manipulated in Sule’s favour.
Another member of the tribunal, Justice Chiemelie Onaga, concurred with the lead judgement read by Justice Ajayi.
But in the dissenting decision Justice Ibrahim Mashi dismissed Ombugadu’s suit for lacking in merit.