The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of incumbent Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The petition had been filed by Mr Musa Wada, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election.
In a judgment of two to one, delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, on Saturday, 23rd May, the tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, massive thumb printing, voter intimidation, and other electoral malpractices.
The tribunal also awarded a cost of one million naira to be paid by the petitioners, PDP and Musa Wada to INEC, Yahaya Bello and APC who are the respondents.
In a dissenting judgment, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele nullified the election of Governor Yahaya Bello and ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections in seven local government areas where the petitioners proved their allegations of over-voting, thuggery, voter intimidation, massive thumb printing, and other electoral malpractices.
Recall that Governor Bello had won the Logic governorship election of
November 18, 2019 by polling a total of 406,222 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 189,704 votes.
The margin of Gov. Bello victory over Engr. Wada was 216,518 votes while the total registered voters in canceled polling units is 149,576.
Gov. Bello won in 12 of the 21 local governments namely Lokoja, Ibaji, Adavi, Okehi, Okene, Kabba Bunu, Ogori Magongo, Koton Karfi , Mopa Muro, Ajaokuta, and Olamaboro, while Musa Wada won in Omala , Igalamela, Yagba East, Yagba West, Idah, Dekina , Bassa, Ofu, and Ankpa local governments.
The election was reportedly marred by violence and ballot box snatching and both local and international observers had called for the total cancellation of the election on the alkeged grounds that it did not reflect the wishes of the people.
The PDP campaign organization promptly rejected the election results and proceeded to the Tribunal.
Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who came a distant third with a score of 9,482 votes, had already had her own petition challenging the election, dismissed by the Election Tribunal.