Supreme Court Affirms Election Of Govs Dankwambo, Wike, Amosun, Others


The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the elections of four state governors: Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
The apex court in separate four judgments held that the four governors were duly elected and dismissed the appeals against them accordingly. 

The apex court’s sitting was presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed. The Supreme Court also dismissed the verdicts of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja and that of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which nullified the election of Wike and ordered for a rerun. In the lead judgement read by a Justice of Supreme Court (JSC), Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court added that it would give reasons for its judgement on February 12. The Supreme Court further dismissed the appeal against the election of Governor Dankwambo after the application was withdrawn by the appellant. The apex court later went on to declare Dankwambo as the validly elected governor of Gombe State 

The first appeal was filed by Wike challenging the judgement of the tribunal and the Court of Appeal. The second appeal was filed by the PDP, while the third was filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, challenging the judgement of the tribunal and the court of appeal. The apex court allowed the three appeals and dismissed the objections raised by All Progressive Congress APC and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside. Adopting his brief of argument earlier, lawyer to Wike, Mr Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), argued that Dakuku failed to present sufficient evidence before the court to prove that the election was marred by irregularities.
Ukala said, “They relied on over voting in their argument but the registers they tendered before the court had only 11 local government out of 23 which was never demonstrated before the court. He urged the court to allow the appeal. On his part, lawyer to the PDP, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the prayers of Dakuku on the grounds that he was not able to present sufficient exhibits before the court to show that people were kidnapped during the election in the state. Opposing Wike’s appeal, lawyer to Dakuku, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN) and that of the APC, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), insisted that the issues raised by Wike were not presented in form of a motion and urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lack of merit. Olujinmi said, “We tendered voters registers as exhibit and was admitted in evidence.