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Tribunal affirms Bello’s election as Kogi governor [update]

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The Kogi State governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has, on Saturday, affirmed the election of Yahaya Bello as governor.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Kashima Kaigama, in its majority judgment, rejected the argument of the majority position of members of the panel.

It noted that while “the petitioners pleaded over-voting, violence, violation of electoral law, hijacking of polling units and electoral materials by armed thugs in seven local government areas of Kogi State, they failed to support their allegations with sufficient evidence.

The tribunal consequently affirmed the election of Governor Bello and ordered each of the petitioners to pay the sum of N500, 000 to the second and third respondents in the petition.

In a dissenting decision, Justice Ohimai Ovbragele faulted the majority judgment of the panel.

Justice Ovbragele held that Bello was not dully elected governor by lawful majority votes.

The judge noted that evidences were tendered to the effect that the election that produced Bello was marred with violence and other electoral malpractices.

The judge said: “I hereby make an order nullifying the election of the second respondent and INEC should withdraw the certificate of return issued to him and conduct a fresh election into the governorship position of the state.”

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