The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment in two suits filed by Natacha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party and Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party.
They are challenging the decision of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.
A five-member panel headed by Justice Adamu Jauro reserved judgment after hearing arguments from all parties in the appeal.
Jauro said the judgments are reserved and a date would be communicated to the parties.
Akpoti and the SDP are challenging the decision of Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in their judgment.
She alleged that the tribunal did not take into consideration the evidences and exhibits that were tendered as proof that the petitioner was excluded from the Kogi State governorship election held on November 16, 2019.
Counsel for Bello, Joseph Daudu (SAN), Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), Counsel for APC and Ahmed Raji (SAN), counsel to INEC who filed preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeal.
They urged the Court to hold that the entire appeal as incompetent.
The appellants’ lawyer, Reuben Egwuaba, urged the court to dismiss the respondents preliminary objections for lacking in merit.
On the main appeal, which was filed on June 19, 2020, the appellants prayed the court to allow the appeal.
They urged the court to upturn the decision of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Iziyon in his brief of argument urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Raji and Daudu also prayed the court to dismiss the entire appeal.
Earlier when the appeals by Wada and PDP were heard, their counsel, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), had urged the Court to upturn the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal and cancel the election.
He said there were overwhelming evidence that the election was marred by electoral malpractices, yet the tribunal ignored them.
But counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission Izinyon urged the Court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Daudu, Raji, counsel for Bello and APC respectively aligned with Izinyon in praying the court to dismiss the appeal.
They said it was clear that the petitioners were unable to substantiate their allegations of electoral malpractice before the the tribunal.
Wada and his party had on December 14, 2019 approached the tribunal urging it to order INEC to disqualify Bello for irregularities and violence that characterised the election that brought him back to power.
But not satisfied with the majority judgment, PDP and its candidate headed to the Appeal Court.