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Protest continues in Nasarawa over Sule’s Supreme Court victory

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Protest continues in Nasarawa over Sule's Supreme Court victory

Protests have continued in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State following Friday’s judgment of the Supreme Court which validated the election of Abdullahi Sule, the state governor.

The Supreme Court had affirmed the Court of Appeal judgement that voided the nullification of the election of Sule of Nasarawa State.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel, upheld the declaration of Sule of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the governorship election that was held in the state on March 18, 2023.

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In its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, dismissed as lacking in merit, the appeal that was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, David Ombugadu.

It will be recalled that the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, in a two-to-one split judgement it delivered on October 2, 2023, nullified Governor Sule’s election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the PDP candidate.

The tribunal held that it was satisfied that Governor Sule was a beneficiary of over-voting that occurred in several polling units in the state.

But following an appeal that was lodged by the governor and his party, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on November 23, reversed his sack and vacated the decision of the tribunal.

The appellate court held that the tribunal erred in law when it concluded that Governor Sule did not win the majority of lawful votes that were cast in the election.

The court maintained that the record before it established that the tribunal relied on legally inadmissible evidence to declare the PDP candidate as the valid winner of the governorship contest.

Following the verdict, protest broke out the state capital, with protesters alleging that justice had been miscarried.

The protesters said to be supporters of the PDP, forced motorists to use alternative routes within Lafia, the state capital.

There is a security presence restoring calm and ensuring no escalation.

Shops and business centres including schools within the Lafia metropolis have abruptly closed.

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