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Appeal Court affirms Agbu Kefas’ election as Taraba Governor

The three-member panel dismissed the petition filed by the New Nigerian Peoples Party and its candidate, Prof. Sani Yahaya for lacking in merit.

Taraba State Governor,  Agbu Kefas. [Twitter:@GovAgbuKefas]

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Agbu as the winner of the Taraba governorship election conducted on March 18, 2023. The New Nigeria Peoples Party and its candidate in Prof. Sani Yahaya had instituted a petition against the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party and Kefas.

The petition was on the grounds of non-compliance to the provisions of the Electoral Act of 2022, citing over voting, mutilation of result sheets and alleged violence in some polling units. Delivering judgment in the appeal, a three-member panel of the appellate dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by justice Peter Affen, the court held that the appellants failed to prove their case. Affen held that the petitioners were inconsistent in the reliefs sought.

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"They can not claim a certificate of return in an election they claimed was fraught with non- compliance and irregularities.

"The section 137 of the Electoral Act, 2022 have not abrogated the provisions of the Evidence Act .

"The appeal lacks merit and accordingly dismissed ” the court held.

The Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Jalingo on September 30, affirmed the election of Dr. Agbu Kefas as the governor of Taraba. The three- member panel led by Justice G. Sunmonu dismissed the petition filed by the New Nigerian Peoples Party and its candidate, Prof. Sani Yahaya for lacking in merit.

The panel held that the petitioners who claimed to have scored the majority of lawful votes cast were inconsistent in their reliefs sought as they asked that the same election be declared invalid, yet valid to declare their candidate winner.

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The tribunal upheld the election of Governor Agbu Kefas of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the duly elected governor of the state. The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to proof their case to warrant the reliefs sought to be granted.

“The two issues formulated by the petitioners in their final written addressed are therefore resolved against them.

“The petition lacks merit, we accordingly reaffirm the election and return of Kefas as the duly elected Governor of Taraba and parties are to bear their cost,” the tribunal held.

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