The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State has affirmed the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Bamidele Salam.
Mr Salam, who won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo Federal constituency of Osun State in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
The appellate court upheld his victory in the February 23 poll in a unanimous decision of three justices read by Justice Muhammed Danjuma on Friday in the Ondo State capital.
It quashed the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal delivered on September 2 which ordered a fresh election in 12 polling units of the constituency.
Salam’s victory was challenged by Adejare Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who secured the initial victory at the Tribunal which sat in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
The appellate court, however, ruled that the Tribunal erred in law when it held that there was over-voting in the affected polling units which necessitated a supplementary election to decide a winner.
It stated that the Tribunal wrongfully applied the provisions of the Electoral Act in determining over-voting as the records presented before it did not prove the allegations of the petitioner.
The court also held that the fact that the PDP candidate led with 1,710 votes even after the wrongful cancellation of votes in the affected 12 polling units should have been taken into cognisance by the Tribunal rather than ordering a rerun election.
Reacting to the judgement, Salam dedicated the victory to God and the people of good conscience in the country.
He admitted that it was quite challenging to have gone through all the stress but insisted that it was for a purpose which God knew.
“I can only show my gratitude to God and my constituents by dedicating myself afresh to greater, better, and untiring selfless service,” the lawmaker said.
The Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal has affirmed the election of Mr Nyesom Wike in the March 9 governorship poll in the state.
It dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi, describing it as an adventure to “discover the non-existent”.
The Tribunal also declared that in the end, nothing was discovered by the petitioner.
Shortly after the judgement delivered on Saturday, Governor Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) celebrated their victories at the Tribunal.
Speaking during a thanksgiving service held at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike in company with other PDP leaders in the state declared that nobody ran against him in the election.
“It is so painful that someone could say that no election held in Rivers State. There was nobody who ran the election against us.
“But for connection, how can anyone say he ran election against us in Rivers State?” he questioned in a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu.
The governor said he would not be distracted by the antics of the opposition, adding that he would continue to promote the interest of the state.
He was exited that justice was done regarding the petition challenging his victory and thanked his legal team for their commitment.
The PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, who was also present, congratulated the governor on his victory at the Tribunal, stressing that nobody should have challenged the election in the court.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP has also congratulated Governor Wike and described the Tribunal’s verdict as an inevitable triumph of justice over forces that sought to undermine the will of the people in the state.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the party noted that Wike’s victory in the election underscored his popularity.
According to it, the governor is committed to the good of the people as evinced in the infrastructural development and empowerment of the people since he took office in 2015.
“The PDP describes Governor Wike as a highly dedicated, innovative and patriotic leader whose commitment to the wellbeing of his people and the overall stability of our nation has remained a reference point in contemporary Nigeria,” the statement said.
It added, “While commending the Tribunal for upholding justice in the matter, the party urged all its elected and appointed public officials to continue in their dedication and selfless service to the people, in line with the manifesto of the PDP and vision of our founding fathers.”
Reacting to the judgement of the Tribunal in Sokoto, the party described the verdict as a victory for democracy and the inevitable triumph of the will of the people.
It stated that the people stood their ground in the March 23 governorship election, despite attempts by “forces that sought to foist themselves” on the state.
The PDP believes Governor Tambuwal’s victory at the election was a clear endorsement of his leadership style as evinced in his commitment towards the development of the state and the empowerment of the people.
“Indeed, Governor Tambuwal’s achievements in developing the state and empowering the people in all critical sectors of life stood him out in his first term.
“His re-election, therefore, marks the determination of the people to consolidate on good governance in their state,” the party said.
The Governor Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, David Ombugadu.
The PDP and its candidates had filed the suit to challenge the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Abdullahi Sule, in the March 9 poll.
They sought an order of the court for a fresh election in Nasarawa, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the accreditation requirements in more than 90 per cent of the polling units in the state.
In its ruling on Saturday, the Tribunal dismissed the petition for lack of merit after over eight hours of a thorough review of proceedings.
The chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abba Mohammed, upheld the election of Sule as the governor of the state.
He ruled that the first respondent (the governor) truly scored the highest votes cast and that the petitioners’ allegations of pervasive case of non-compliance with the Electoral Act (2010 as amended); over-voting, undue allotment of votes to the APC, disenfranchisement of voters, widespread irregularities, and violence cannot be seriously relied upon.
According to the judge, the petitioners were unable to provide proper proves and credible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the respondent, Sherrif Mohamed, commended the ruling while that of the petitioners, Gambo Afiku, appreciated the ruling.
He, however, said the next line of action for his clients would be based on further consultations.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on the opposition in Akwa Ibom to join him in developing the state.
He made the call on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekerete Udoh, shortly after the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo affirmed his victory in the March 9 governorship election.
The governor said, “To my fellow brothers and sisters on the opposite end of the political divide, I am extending my hand of fellowship again to join me in building a state that would be the pride of us all –an economically viable, infrastructurally developed, morally sound and forward-looking state where the abiding cords of our unity and brotherhood will be strengthened.”
“In every political contest, a winner must emerge and the loser must accept the verdict of the people.
“The Akwa Ibom people have spoken; they spoke loudly and clearly on March 9, 2019, by overwhelmingly re-electing me to a second term,” he added.
According to Governor Emmanuel, the time has come for the people to come together and move the state forward.
He noted that the ‘Completion Agenda’ was an Akwa Ibom Agenda, stressing that the people must all be invested in its execution.
The governor further commended the Tribunal’s judgement and dedicated his victory to God and the good people the state.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to thank our only God who saw us through the campaigns, the elections and the victory without any loss of lives.
“This could only have happened because we believe in God and His presence and guidance has never departed and will never depart from this State.”
“To you, my dear and great Akwaibomites, thank you for the love, faith, belief and trust you have shown me, your prayers and hope in my capacity to take this state to a place and point that would stand out as a source of reference in what an inspired and people-centric governance can and should be,” Emmanuel added.
There is a heavy presence of security personnel at the Niger State Judiciary Complex Minna where the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is expected to deliver judgment.
The verdict follows a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Umar Nasko challenging the victory of Governor Abubakar Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recently held governorship election.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been speaking about how he soaked in the pressure during the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal which lasted several hours.
He said he used the opportunity of the Federal Executive Meeting to keep himself busy while the judgement lasted.
A Fabulous Coincidence
The President spoke when he received governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who paid him a congratulatory visit on Friday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He also joked about the pressure he would have been through if he had been free to watch the proceedings of the Tribunal.
President Buhari said, “If I had lost this case, I think the impact downstairs; I don’t know how far it will go. So, we are here to congratulate each other, and we thank God for his mercies.
“On this judgement, again it was a fabulous coincidence. It came the same day, almost the same time with the first meeting of this government; of the executive of the government.”
“And it lasted about the same time with the judgement. I thank God for that because I think would have gone into trauma or something. So, I was busy trying to concentrate on the memo.
“The first memo was on the budget and the memo took more than five hours. So, while you were doing your thing for nine hours, we were doing ours for about seven hours here,” he told his guests.
The Way Forward
The President thanked the governors and leaders of the ruling party for their support throughout the proceedings at the Tribunal.
He, however, challenged them on the need to build a stronger party in other to build on the achievements recorded so far.
According to the President, it is important for the APC leaders to institutionalise the party to ensure it has the capacity to retain power and deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
“It is a very interesting coincidence and I thank God for it because I would have been in trauma of some sort. So, thank you very much for sharing the glory with us,” he reiterated in reaction to his victory at the Tribunal.
President Buhari added, “What I will say in return for your congratulations, the chairman of the party and the governors is to make sure we really institutionalised the party so that when we leave, the party stays and continue to lead. Thank you very much.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over what it called the “undue delay” by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal to release the record of its judgment.
Two days after the Tribunal affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari won the February 23 poll, the PDP has again rejected the judgment in a statement on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.
It stressed that the record of the judgment was needed to enable the party and its presidential candidate, Mr Atiku Abubakar, to promptly file an appeal against the ruling at the Supreme Court.
“Our party and millions of supporters across the country believe that the delay is a calculated attempt by some quarters to frustrate our appeal at the Supreme Court, where Nigerians have expressed confidence to get justice as well as restore the integrity of our judiciary, which has been eroded by the Tribunal,” the opposition party alleged.
It claimed further, “It is instructive to state that the Court of Appeal is aware that our party and candidate have mandatory 14 days to appeal to the Supreme Court, yet it is delaying in releasing a judgment that was read for nine hours and which it wants the public to believe it actually wrote.
“Our party fears that this development is lending credence to suspicion in the public space that the judgment is being tampered with and altered, in the name of correcting errors, knowing that there is no way the verdicts can stand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.”
Tribunal Affirms Buhari’s Election
President Buhari defeated former Vice President Atiku in the keenly contested presidential election on February 23.
Dissatisfied with the outcomes of the poll, the PDP and its candidate took to the Tribunal, specifically asking the Tribunal to disqualify Buhari on the grounds that he did not possess the requisite academic qualification to contest for the office of President among other reasons.
After months of proceedings and presentation of witnesses and a series of evidence at the Tribunal, a five-man panel of judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba dismissed the petition by the PDP and Atiku in its entirety.
In a unanimous judgement delivered on Wednesday, the Tribunal held that the parties were to bear their respective cost.
Praise And Criticism
The judgement of the Tribunal sparked mixed reactions across the country as it was gladly received by members of the ruling party but strongly rejected by those of the opposition.
In separate reactions, President Buhari said the ruling was a victory for Nigerians who trooped out to elect him for a second term in office while the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, was confident that his party would win in any court.
Similarly, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, called on the PDP to tender an apology to Nigerians for distracting the Buhari administration with an election petition, rather than appealing the Tribunal’s judgement.
It insisted that the judgment was “a direct miscarriage of justice” which would not stand at the Supreme Court, adding that it has enough evidence against the President Buhari and the APC.
Condemning the delay in the release of the record of the judgement, the PDP said, “We also hope there is no link between the circumstances surrounding this delay and the boasts by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, speaking for the Buhari Presidency, as well as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, that justice will not be served to the PDP and our Presidential candidate at the Supreme Court.”
It said it had always alerted Nigerians of the alleged efforts by the ruling party to manipulate processes.
The PDP, however, noted that it has found solace in the fact that the full video and audio recordings of the judgment were in the public space.
“We will not hesitate to expose any underhand act by anybody. The PDP, therefore, demands the immediate release of the record of judgment as delivered by the Tribunal without any form of alterations,” it said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as a victory for Nigerians, stating that Nigerians freely gave him the mandate.
President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that he was unperturbed all along and the verdict has vindicated their victory at the February 23 election.
“Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated.”
The statement quoted President Buhari’s commendation to the judiciary for ‘dispensing justice without fear or favour’.
“He dedicates the victory to God, and to Nigerians, while also commending the judiciary for “dispensing justice without fear or favour.”
“President Buhari extends a hand of fellowship to those who had felt aggrieved at the outcome of the election, and went to court, noting that it was within their democratic rights.
“it is time for the country to move forward as one cohesive body, putting behind us all bickering and potential distractions over an election in which Nigerians spoke clearly and resoundingly,” the statement added.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, in a unanimous judgement, on Wednesday, dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 Presidential election.
The five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is the winner of the 2019 presidential election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the recent verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal upholding President Buhari’s victory at the 2019 election.
The party in a statement described the judgement by the 5-man panel as ‘subversion of justice and direct assault on the integrity of our nation’s justice system”.
According to the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the pieces of evidence laid before it by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“The party is particularly shocked that the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.
“The PDP finds as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.”
The statement added that the party was shocked that the court approved the declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election.
“The PDP also described as shocking that the court approved the flawed declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election despite evidence to show the perpetration of illegalities, manipulations, alterations and subtraction of valid votes freely given to Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians.
“Indeed, the pervading melancholic atmosphere across our nation since the verdict is a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians.”
The party stated that the verdict of the tribunal will be challenged at the Supreme Court.
“The PDP, however, encouraged Nigerians to remain calm and not to lose hope or surrender to despondency or self-help, as our lawyers are upbeat in obtaining justice at the Supreme Court.
“This is more so as the tribunal itself admitted that there are several errors in the judgment.”
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, on Wednesday, in a unanimous judgement, dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate in the 2019 Presidential election challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 Presidential election.
The five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is the winner of the 2019 presidential election.