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Supreme Court Upholds Governorship Election Outcomes in Six States

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In a landmark session on Friday, the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered judgments on appeals challenging the results of governorship elections in six states—Gombe, Kebbi, Ogun, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Delta. This follows last week’s resolution where the fate of 10 state governors was determined, with none being removed from office.

The governors whose positions were affirmed by the Supreme Court include Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Alex Otti (Abia), Dauda Lawal (Zamfara), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi), Abba Yusuff (Kano), Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), and Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau).

In the case of Ogun State, the Supreme Court upheld the election victory of Governor Dapo Abiodun. Appellants Ladi Adebutu and the Peoples Democratic Party had sought to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections in 99 polling units where elections were allegedly canceled. The court, led by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed the appeal, affirming Abiodun’s re-election.

The Supreme Court also affirmed the election of Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, dismissing appeals by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Ovie Omo-Agege, as well as the Labour Party and its candidate, Ken Pella. The court found the appeals lacked merit, and Justice John Okoro led a five-member panel in confirming Oborevwori’s victory.

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule also received affirmation from the Supreme Court, overturning a tribunal decision that initially declared PDP candidate David Ombugadu as the winner of the March 18, 2023 election. Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun ruled that the appeal lacked merit and reinstated Sule as the rightful governor.

In Gombe, the Supreme Court upheld the lower courts’ judgments, affirming the election of Governor Yahaya. The Court of Appeal in Abuja had earlier affirmed Yahaya’s victory, dismissing the petitioner’s allegations of non-qualification, perjury, and certificate forgery. The Supreme Court, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, found no grounds to interfere with the lower courts’ decisions.

The election of Kebbi State Governor Nasir Idris was also affirmed by the Supreme Court. Despite INEC declaring the state election inconclusive, subsequent supplementary elections solidified Idris’s victory. The court, in its judgment, stated that the appeal lacked merit, dismissing it along with other related appeals.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court upheld the election of Uba Sani as the governor of Kaduna State, dismissing the appeal by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Mohammed Ashiru Isa. The court of appeal had previously affirmed Uba Sani’s election, and Justice Tijani Abubakar declared the PDP’s appeal as vexatious, frivolous, and lacking merit.

In all the cases heard, the Supreme Court’s decisions reinforced the outcomes of the lower courts, cementing the election victories of the respective governors.

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