Governor Bello and Edward Onoja, his deputy celebrating the tribunal victory in Lokoja
The Kogi governorship election Tribunal on Saturday declared that Yahaya Bello of All Progressives Congress, APC, was validly elected in the state’s November 16, 2019 governorship election.
The tribunal in a split decision of 2 to 1 dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the November 16, 2019 governorship election, Engineer Musa Wada, against the victory of Bello in the election.
Wada, in his petition, alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.
Delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.
The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay.
The tribunal further awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.
However, a member of the tribunal, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, disagreed with the judgement.
In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.
“I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.