The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, challenging the decision of the State Election Tribunal which upheld Yahaya Bello’s victory in last year’s governorship election. In a split decision of four to one, the court held that Bello was validly substituted for the late Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate, who died before the conclusion of the election.

Dismissing Wada’s argument that Bello was not qualified for the election because he did not participate in all stages of the election, the court held that the governor participated in all the stages “by virtue of his party participation and accrued interest.” Justice Mojeed Owoade, who read the lead judgment, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was right to have merged the votes scored by Audu (before he died) and that of Bello (in the supplementary election) to return the APC’s candidate as winner.

The court, which resolved all the six issues determined against the appellant, held that Wada failed to prove his allegation of that the election was held in violation of the Constitution and Electoral Act.


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