The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the governor of Kogi State.
A five-man panel of justices of the court upheld Governor Bello’s election in a judgement delivered on Saturday in the nation’s capital.
The court had dismissed 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).
On the APP’s appeal, Justice Mohammed Shuaibu dismissed the appeal filed by the party in a unanimous judgment.
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.
In its appeal, APP had claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully excluded it from the governorship election in Kogi State.
Similarly, the appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) against Governor Bello’s victory in the November 2019 governorship election.
DPP’s appeal was also dismissed in a unanimous decision while the SDP candidate, Natasha Akpoti, lost her bid to unseat Governor Bello.
In its judgement, the court held that Akpoti could not prove the allegations of corruption and voter intimidation against the governor.
On his part, Mr Musa Wada of the PDP got his appeal dismissed by the court, but not without a penalty.
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.
The court dismissed the appeals filed by the political parties and their candidates after they lost at the Tribunal.
On November 18, 2019, INEC returned Bello as the duly elected governor having scored the highest number of votes in the keenly contested poll.
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.