…..I will challenge the ruling, says Wada

Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello on Saturday claimed victory over his political rival Musa Wada following the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed Wada’s petition challenging Bello’s election.

Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had challenged the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election of November 16, 2019.

In his petition, Wada alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.

But delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay, and awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.

The Tribunal’s position was however stained by a minority ruling of Justice  Ohimai Ovbiagele which disagreed with the judgement.

In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.

He said, “I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.”

In the election, Governor Bello polled a total of 406,222 votes to claim victory against that of his closest rival Musa Wada who got 189,704 votes to emerge the first runner-up.

Reacting to the Tribunal’s ruling, the PDP candidate said he will challenge it at the court of Appeal to seek for justice and reclaim what he termed as “stolen mandate”.

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