Supreme Court Postpones Judgment On Kebbi Governor’s Election Victory

Bande lost his case at the Court of Appeal when it held that “disqualification of a candidate on grounds of false information is a pre-election matter that ought to have been ventilated at the Federal High Court, not the Tribunal.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Idris as the winner of the guber poll held on March 18, 2023.

But Bande’s lawyer, Damian Dodo, moved to the Kebbi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and afterwards, the Court of Appeal, alleging that the governor’s victory was marred by malpractices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act including the governor’s alleged forgery of his senior secondary school certificate.

However, the two lower courts dismissed the appeal and affirmed the election of Idris.

recalls that a three-man panel of the appeal court presided over by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu held that the Tribunal was right to have struck out the certificate forgery allegation raised by the petitioner against the governor.

The appeal court also observed from the evidence presented that the governor attended Sultan Abubakar College, Sokoto, but did not graduate from there while the PDP candidate claimed he graduated from the school.

The appeal court further held that there’s no Section in the 1999 Constitution stating that one must graduate from a secondary school to be eligible to contest for a governorship election.

“A person needs not obtain a certificate of a secondary school, mere attendance of a school will suffice,” the appeal court declared, adding that the PDP failed to prove its allegation of overvoting in the poll.

“On the whole, this Appeal is void of merit and is accordingly dismissed,” the court of appeal said in a unanimous decision.

Dissatisfied, General Bande (rtd) asked the Supreme Court to sack the governor and uphold the testimony of over 50 witnesses he presented at the Tribunal.

But the governor’s lawyer, Yakubu Maikyau, urged the apex court’s five-man panel chaired by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Eku to dismiss the appeal and affirm the concurrent findings of the lower courts.

After hearing the parties on Tuesday, Justice Kekere-Eku reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to the parties.

It was reported that the appeal against the governor’s election will elapse on or before January 22.