The Supreme Court has upheld Sule Abdullahi’s position as the duly elected Governor of Nasarawa State, confirming the results of the March 18 Governorship election. In the election, Abdullahi of the APC secured 347,209 votes, defeating his closest rival, David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP, who had 283,016 votes, according to INEC’s declaration on March 20.
Unsatisfied with the results, Ombugadu and the PDP, represented by Chief Godwin Kanu Agabi SAN, approached the tribunal, challenging the outcome and listing INEC, Audu, and APC as defendants. Among their claims was that Abdullahi did not obtain the majority of lawful votes, insisting that Ombugadu should have been declared the winner.
On October 2, the tribunal, in a 2-1 decision, accepted the petition (EPT/NS/GOV/01/2023), nullified Gov Sule’s victory, and declared Ombugadu the winner. The tribunal identified calculation errors favoring Abdullahi and directed INEC to withdraw the certificate issued to him.
Displeased with the ruling, Gov Sule, represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, appealed to the higher court, arguing that he was not given a fair hearing. The Court of Appeal (Suit No: CA/MK/EP/GOV/NS/30/2023) agreed, highlighting procedural flaws in the tribunal’s consideration of evidence.
Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam JCA led the panel that nullified the tribunal’s decision and reinstated Gov Sule as duly elected. Unhappy with this outcome, Ombugadu took the case to the Supreme Court, where the final resolution must be reached.
In the consolidated appeals (Suit No: SC/CV/1213/2023), the panel, headed by Justice KMO Kekere-Ekun JSC, upheld the Court of Appeal’s judgment, confirming Sule Abdullahi as the legitimately elected Governor. The unanimous decision stated that the well-considered ruling of the Court of Appeal remains intact and indisputable.