The Nigerian Supreme Court in Abuja on Thursday affirmed the election of Governor Ahmad Aliyu of Sokoto State shortly after dismissing an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Saidu Umar.
The appeal had challenged the outcome of the governorship election held in the state on March 18, 2023.
Governor Ahmad Aliyu’s election was upheld in a judgement that was read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar.
The Supreme Court upheld the judgements of the Court of Appeal and the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which dismissed the appeal seeking to nullify Governor Aliyu’s election.
Aliyu was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.
After the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Aliyu as the winner, saying he received 453,661 votes, to defeat his closest challenger, PDP candidate Umar.
The electoral body said Umar received 404,632 votes.
Dissatisfied with the election results, Umar and the PDP petitioned the tribunal, saying that Aliyu and his deputy, Idris Gobir, were ineligible to run for office.
They further claimed that the election was not only tainted by anomalies but was also not conducted in substantial accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
They also accused the governor and his deputy of presenting fake certificates with name variations to the electoral body.
But in a decision made on September 30, 2023, the three-man tribunal panel dismissed the petition as lacking in merit.
The panel, led by Justice Haruna Mshelia, determined that the petitioners were unable to prove any of the allegations made in their petition.
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on November 27, 2023, upheld the decision of the tribunal.
The appellate court panel ruled that most evidence presented by petitioners was legally inadmissible.