Tribunal affirms Gov Yahaya Bello’s election,fined PDP N500,000. dismisses petition

The Kogi state governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja on Saturday affirmed election of Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi State.

The court also fined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate the sum of N500,000.

In its ruling, the three-man Justices led by Justice Kashim G Kaigama, in a unanimous judgement, dismissed the petition of PDP governorship candidate in the election, Engr Musa Wada, for lack of merit and asked that he pay a fine of N500,000 to APC and INEC.

Musa Waha, who scored 189,704 votes to emerge the first runner-up of the election, had challenged the victory of Yahaya Bello in the November 16 governorship election in a petition marked EPT/KG/GOV/06/2019, and prayed to be declared the winner of the election having scored the highest number of valid votes.

Bello won the governorship election with 406,222 votes, defeating the PDP candidate with 216,518 which has remained the highest ever in the history of the state.

The Tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition of SDP candidate, Natasha Akpoti, against Yahaya Bello, on Monday, for lack of merit and ordered her to pay a fine of N100,000 each to APC and INEC.

Meanwhile, the PDP candidate has vowed to challenge the judgment at the Court of Appeal to seek justice and reclaim what he termed as “stolen mandate.”

In a swift reaction, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has said the judgment of the Election Tribunal upholding his election and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a re-affirmation of his landmark victory on the 16th of November, 2019.

He said the landmark judgment, affirming his landmark victory, is a validation of the people’s mandate and an added impetus to his drive to do more for the good people of Kogi State.

He made this known through a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, shortly after the Election Petition Tribunal delivered her judgment on Saturday.

The governor lauded the tribunal for being upright and just and thanked the entire citizens of the state for support and prayer.

The Governor noted that with the majority ruling of the Tribunal dismissing the petition of PDP candidate, Musa Wada, today, the rule of law once again came to the defense of democracy by affirming the collective will of the people which was expressed on the 16th of November, 2019 when a vast, compelling majority of the electorate cast their votes for him to serve them for a second term.

Describing the judgment as most comprehensive of outstanding thoroughness, reason, and stretch on the many issues presented before the tribunal, Bello noted that the judiciary remains the last hope of common man.

He said whatever partisan side one might take on the ruling of the tribunal, all must come to terms that today was a bright day for the administration of justice in Nigeria.

He restated his firm resolve to continue to work for the good of the people of Kogi State,adding that he would not let them down.

While calling on all kogites to join his administration in moving the state forward, Governor Bello reiterated his resolve to continue to run an all-inclusive government, with open-door policies, as he initiated in his first tenure in office.

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