The Supreme Court has upheld the election of the governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, dismissing the appeal of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
The Chief Justice of Nigeria who delivered the lead judgment said the Apex Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the appeal afresh since it emanated from a tribunal and not a trial court.
He added that “the court cannot allow the judgment of the Appellate court as it lacks competence since it gave reasons for its judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law.” “It has become a nullity and therefore does not exist.
The Court there after held that the tribunal judgment which upheld the victory of the governor as subsisting.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, however urged the National Assembly to amend Section 285 of the Electoral Act to ensure that litigants do not continue to suffer as a result of the law.
Counsel to CPC’s candidate in the April 2011 governorship election, Mr Olawale Akoni had told the court to evoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to hear the suit afresh as it is not satisfied.
With the handling of the suit by the Appellate court, counsel to the governor, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi and that of (INEC) Mr Hassan Liman both opposed the application on the grounds that several judgment of the Supreme Court.
Have indicated that if the appeal court delivers judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law it is null and void and since the same scenario is applicable to this suit same should apply.
The Supreme Court also set aside the judgment of the Appellate Court in the appeal brought before it by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) challenging the victory of governor Dambaba Suntai of Taraba state in the April 2011 governorship election on the grounds that the Appeal Court lacks the competence to deliver judgment and give reasons outside the 60 days stipulated in the electoral act 2010 as amended.