The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday affirmed the election of Agbu Kefas of the Peoples Democratic Party as Governor of Taraba State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had announced him as winner of the poll on March 18, 2023.
The New Nigeria Peoples Party and its candidate, Prof. Sani Yahaya, had instituted a petition against the victory of the PDP and Kefas.
The petition was on the grounds of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 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.
He held: “They cannot 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 has not abrogated the provisions of the Evidence Act.
“The appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.”
The Taraba State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on September 30, 2023 affirmed the election of Dr. Kefas as the governor of Taraba State.
The three-member panel led by Justice G. Sunmonu dismissed the petition filed by the NNPP and 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.
The tribunal thus upheld the election of Kefas.
The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove their case to warrant the reliefs sought to be granted
It held: “The two issues formulated by the petitioners in their final written addresses 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.”