Supreme Court Ruling: Thirty-Eight Arraigned In Nasarawa Over Protest

Supreme Court Ruling: Thirty-Eight Arraigned In Nasarawa Over Protest

Saturday, January 20, 2024 4:25 pm

The arrested persons

The arrested persons


About thirty-eight people, including four men and thirty-four women are in detention as the police have brought them before Chief Magistrate Mohammed Abdullahi Lanze of the magistrate court 3 in Lafia. They were alleged to have taken part in the protests that engulfed Lafia shortly after the Supreme Court affirmed the victory of Governor Abdullahi Sule as the validly elected governor of Nasarawa State, on Friday.

It is unknown if those picked up were allowed to enter their pleas. They were brought to the magistrate court late and most court functionaries were believed to have closed for the day. The Police however secured permission to remand the accused at the Correctional Service Centre in Lafia in compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. The prosecution officer, Danjuma Alu among others told the court that the alleged rioters had engaged in acts capable of truncating pubic peace. The defence counsel Iliya Ashokpa was not available to speak to the Press but our reporter gathered that hearing on the matter has been adjourned to Monday for other judicial processes to begin.

The Supreme Court had on Friday affirmed that Sule of the All Progressives Congress won the governorship election conducted by the independent national Electoral Commission on March 18, last year. The verdict follows an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in that election, David Ombugadu, challenging the verdict of the Court of Appeal which invalidated the decision of the first trial Tribunal which sacked Governor Sule. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, GEPT had in October annulled the election of Governor Sule, citing substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was ordered to withdraw the certificate of return issued him and give same to Ombugadu.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, Governor Sule and the APC approached the Court of Appeal, praying it to set aside the judgment of the Tribunal and uphold his election as declared by the INEC in March. The imbroglio divided the State along party affiliation, ethnicity and religious lines. Since March last year when the police banned all forms of protests in the State, supporters of the PDP have consisted held protests within the confines of the Party in Lafia.

 The differences in choices of who governs the State have spiralled into brickbats between the key actors as even high-profile individuals have been accused of making inciting comments in publicly.

Pix: The Accused being taken away from the Court.

Pix2: Shehu Nadada, CP, Nasarawa State

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