The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State. In its Judgement delivered on Monday, the Apex Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, disagreed with the appeal filed on five grounds by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi Governorship Election, Musa Wada.
Mr Wada claimed that the election held on November 16, 2019, was riddled with serious electoral infractions; rigging and over-voting, and that Governor Bello didn’t secure the highest vote. The apex court also dismissed the seven grounds of appeal filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti, which includes an allegation of age falsification against the Kogi State Deputy Governor. Other members of the panel include Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Inyang Okoro, Amina Augie, Uwani Abba-Aji.
Mr Wada approached the Supreme Court after his petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on July 4th, 2020 with a split decision of two to one. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned Bello as the duly elected governor on November 18, 2019, having scored the highest number of votes in the poll.
He got a total of 406,222 votes to beat his closest rival, Wada who scored 189,704 votes and Akpoti who garnered a total of 9,482 votes.