Tuesday, October 3, 2023 5:02 pm
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule has vowed to seek to upturn the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, GEPT, which voided his election as governor of Nasarawa State. Speaking extempore to newsmen and Party supporters at the Government House, Lafia, on Monday, he said he will utilize his constitutional right which permits him to remain in office until the case is determined by the Appeal and Supreme Courts.
“I remain the governor until until we appeal and the law allows us to appeal. And I remain the governor until whatever happens at the Supreme Court,” he told those in attendance. In his view, “whatever happened (the judgment) is a temporary setback. There is no amount of riot that can change what has happened. We will go to appeal.” He therefore implored the youths and social media users who support him to eschew violence as the legal fireworks begin at another level. “Please, those of you in the social media, don’t answer to whatever the other people (his opponents at the polls) are saying because you will be giving them what they want. Tomorrow we are continuing with our work as if nothing has happened.”
He concluded that the decision of the trial court may have been a handiwork of God to spur him and his Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to do more. “God Almighty has given us the opportunity to do what we can for this State. He just wants us to do wake.”
It will be recalled that the Tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Governor Sule and give same to David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as the winner of the 18 March, 2023 gubernatorial polls conducted in the State.
Ombugadu and his Party had approached the Tribunal seeking to be declared winner, following the controversial outcome of the elections particularly in Ciroma and Gayam electoral wards in Lafia Local Government Area. In a split judgement of two to one(2:1), The Tribunal led by Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, ruled that the petitioner successfully proved that the election was conducted without substantial adherence to the provisions of the Electoral Act in the areas under contention. After a mathematical tabulation of the votes, the PDP was deemed to have scored higher votes.
Calm has returned to the State after the excitement in some quarters and moodiness in others, as the decision of the court filtered into the city centre and the suburbs .