In a crucial development, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has concluded the hearing in the appeal filed by Governor Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the judgment of the lower tribunal.
The lower tribunal had removed Governor Sule from office and declared David Umbugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Nasarawa State.
Presided over by Justice Onyemenam Uchechukwu, the appellate court reserved its decision after considering arguments from counsel for all parties involved. The court is expected to communicate the reserved judgment to all parties later.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared Governor Abdullahi Sule as the winner with 347,209 votes, defeating David Umbugadu of the PDP, who secured 283,016 votes.
Dissatisfied with INEC’s declaration, the PDP and Umbugadu approached the governorship election petition tribunal, challenging the results and asserting Umbugadu’s victory. On October 2, 2023, the tribunal, in a split 2-1 judgment, declared Umbugadu the rightful winner with 293,287 legitimate votes, while Abdullahi Sule garnered 292,446 votes.
The appeal process ensued, with both parties presenting their cases. Wole Olanipekun (SAN), representing Governor Abdullahi Sule, urged the appellate court to allow the appeal, set aside the lower court’s judgment, and dismiss Umbugadu’s cross-appeal for lacking merit.
On the other hand, Kanu Agabi (SAN), representing David Umbugadu and the PDP, urged the court to dismiss Sule’s appeal and uphold the tribunal’s judgment.
As this significant legal battle unfolds, the political landscape in Nasarawa State awaits the final verdict, which will undoubtedly shape the state’s leadership dynamics. Stay tuned for further updates as the appellate court’s judgment approaches.
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