The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jibrin Barde and the party in the March 18 Gombe state governorship election seeking to void the election of Governor Inuwa Yahaya of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the judgement of the apex court prepared and delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the court dismissed the case of the appellants against the election of Yahaya as the governor of Gombe state.
According to Justice Kekere-Ekun, “Having critically looked at the concurrent judgements of the Gombe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, I am of the view that this appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.
“I affirm the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on November 23 which upheld the decision of the Tribunal delivered on September 29, 2023. I make no order as to cost”, Justice Kekere-Ekun held.
Yahaya was re-elected for the second and final term as governor of the state at the 18 March governorship election.
INEC declared Yahaya as the winner of the contest having polled 342,821 votes to beat his closest opponent, Jibrin Barde who garnered 233,131 votes.
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Dissatisfied with the election outcome, Barde and the PDP, in a joint petition filed at the Gombe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, said Yahaya was not re-elected by a majority of valid votes cast in the election.
The petitioners alleged widespread electoral malpractices in nine of the state’s 11 local government areas and alleged cases of ballot box stuffing and thumbprinting in the nine council areas.
But, the Tribunal held in its judgment that Barde failed to prove the allegations of electoral fraud against Yahaya and the APC.
Determined to overturn the governor’s victory, Barde approached the Court of Appeal, urging it to nullify Yahaya’s victory, but, the Court of Appeal, in its judgement affirmed Yahaya’s victory and resolved all the issues in favour of the respondent and against the appellant.
It would be recalled that the apex Court on Thursday, dismissed the appeal filed by the candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Nafiu Bala seeking the nullification of Governor Inuwa’s election after his lawyer, Herbert Nwoye withdrew it upon being told that his appeal was a mere waste of the court’s time.
Following a no objection to the request for the withdrawal of the appeal by the appellants, the Supreme Court consequently dismissed the appeal.