Will Nigeria’s Supreme Court Uphold or Overturn Governors’ Elections in Delta & Plateau?
Supreme Court has reserved judgement on the appeal filed by Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State seeking to restore his mandate as governor of the state.
The apex court has also reserved judgement in the appeals filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP) and the All Proggresives Congress (APC) against the election of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State.
The Appeal Court had sacked Governor Mutfwang over inappropriate congress leading to his election.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu had declared Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
The appeal court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Mutfwang and issue a fresh one to Goshwe.
After listening to parties in the matter, the apex court reserved judgement to a date that will be communicated to parties.
John Okoro who led a five-member panel of justices reserved the judgement after he took arguments from lawyers to both parties in the case.
The apex court is expected to deliver a verdict on the matter before January 16, 2024 when the appeal will expire.
Mutfwang of the PDP had scored 525,299 votes to beat the APC candidate, Mr Nentawe Yilwatda, who garnered 481,370 votes during the March 18, 2023 governorship poll in the state.
The governor’s election was upheld by the Plateau State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos, the state capital.
However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja overturned the victory, necessitating Mutfwang’s appeal at the apex court.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that Oborevwori of the PDP polled 360,234 votes to win the governorship election ahead of Omo-Agege of the APC, who secured 240,229 votes.
An appeal court judgement in November last year affirmed his election with a three-member tribunal headed by Justice C.H. Ahuchaogu dismissing the petition filed by former deputy president of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege.
The tribunal held that the petition contained unsubstantiated allegations, noting that it was devoid of merit and speculative.