The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has suffered a loss in Nasarawa State as the Election Tribunal upturned the victory of Governor Abdullahi Sule and declared David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winner of the March 18 governorship election.
The Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, which delivered its judgment through virtual (zoom) that lasted for more than four hours, said Sule rode on the back of illegal votes to the State House.
The Chairman of the Nasarawa tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, and another member of the panel, Justice Chiemelie Onaga, concluded that Ombugadu earned the majority of the lawful votes cast.
The two jurists removed the illegal votes cast in the Gayam, Chiroma, and Ashige wards in the Lafia local government and collated the lawful results at the various polling units to arrive at their decisions.
The tribunal chairman added that the candidate of the PDP had provided the results of the various polling units and Forms EC 8A, adding that he successfully proved that the results were manipulated in favor of the APC.
He, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Sule and issue a new one to Ombugadu.
However, there was a dissenting judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Mashi, who dismissed the petition filed by the PDP candidate for lacking in merit.
He said that the petitioner had failed to prove his case and therefore, upheld Sule’s victory.