The Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed the election of Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello.
In a judgement delivered on July 4, the five-man panel of justices of the court upheld Governor Bello’s election, dismissing the appeals filed by four political parties challenging the governor’s re-election in the November 2019 governorship poll.
Those who filed the appeals were the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Action Peoples Party (APP), and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).
In its appeal, APP had claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully excluded it from the governorship election in the state. While delivering judgment, Justice Mohammed Shuaibu dismissed the party’s appeal. He also affirmed the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed the petition filed by the APP and awarded a cost of N100,000 against the party.
The appellate court also dismissed the appeal filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) challenging Governor Bello’s victory in the November 2019 governorship election.
The SDP candidate, Natasha Akpoti’s appeal was dismissed on grounds that she could not prove the allegations of corruption and voter intimidation against the governor.
On his part, Mr. Musa Wada of the PDP was penalized by the court and his appeal was also dismissed. Wada was ordered to pay a sum of N100,000 each to Governor Bello, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and INEC, who were listed as respondents in the appeal.
INEC on November 18, 2019, declared Bello winner of the state governorship election. He polled a total of 406,222 votes to beat his closest rival, Wada who scored 189,704 votes and Akpoti who garnered a total of 9,482 votes.