Appeal Court Affirms Okorocha, El-Rufai’s Elections

Posted by GRANDNEWS | 1 January 1970 | 357 times

It is all smiles and dancing time for former Imo State Governor, of Senator Rochas Okorocha, and Kaduna state Governor, Mallam El Rufai as the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, capital of the state, and Kaduna in North West, on Thursday upheld their electoral victories

Panel Chairman, Justice R.A Ada, who read the judgement in the case involving Okorocha said that the appeals filed by Senator Osita Izunaso of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party against Okorocha lacked merit.

The jurist contended that the judgment of the lower court (Tribunal) which upheld Okorocha’s election was in order.

The panel said that the petitioners could not prove their allegations of violence, over-voting, mutilation of electoral results and hijacking of electoral officers.

The justice said that the petitioners could not prove the allegation of duress as the returning officer alleged.

Okorocha had on February 23 defeated Onyereri and Izunaso but the returning officer alleged that he declared Okorocha winner under duress.

In Kaduna, the Appeal Court affirmed Governor Nasir El-Rufai as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the State.

The appellate court upheld the judgement of the election tribunal which had earlier affirmed El-Rufai, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress as the winner of the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the governor the winner of the March 9 election in the state.

Dissatisfied with INEC’s declaration, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Isa Ashiru approached the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal where the tribunal dismissed his petition for lacking in merit.

Ashiru and his party had asked the tribunal to cancel a total of 515,951 votes, which they claimed were unlawfully allocated to the APC as well as 124,210 unlawful votes, which they said were added to the PDP, through wrong or double entry on the result sheets by INEC.

After the tribunal’s verdict, the PDP candidate went ahead to file an appeal.

The five-man panel of the Appeal Court of judges upheld the decision of the tribunal and declared El-Rufai as the duly elected governor of Kaduna State.

In the unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Olumuyiwa Aburu, the appellate court upheld the judgement of the tribunal which dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ashiru for lacking in merit.

The Appellate Court aligned with the tribunal judgement which ruled that the PDP candidate could not prove his allegations of massive rigging and other electoral irregularities leveled against the governor at the polls. (Source: PUNCH)


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