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Supreme Court Dismisses Ardo’s Appeal Against Gov Fintiri


The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr Umar Ardo, against the election victory of Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ardo had approached the apex court with an appeal seeking to set aside the concurrent judgements of the Adamawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which earlier upheld the election victory of Fintiri.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Ardo’s counsel, Mr. Sylvester Imahnobe, while responding to questions from the five-member panel of Justices led by Justice John Inyang Okoro, told the apex court that his client, who scored over 6,000 votes in the said election, would have won in a proper election.

The appellant wanted the court to annul the election that produced Fintiri as the governor of Adamawa State on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

A member of the panel, Justice Emmanuel Agim, asked the counsel how substantially the non-compliance affected the outcome of the election or the integrity of the election process, but the counsel could not prove how the alleged non-compliance affected the election results.

Justice Okoro, on his part, told the counsel that the question raised by his brother Justice on the panel goes a long way toward showing that the appeal is incompetent.

Getting the hint from the court, Imahnobe then applied for the withdrawal of the appeal, a request that was not opposed by the respondents in the appeal.

Consequently, Justice Okoro dismissed the appeal and held that the “sister appeal will abide by the outcome of this appeal.”.

The Court of Appeal had, in a judgement delivered by Justice Ugochukwu Ogaku, agreed with the Tribunal that the appellants did not prove the allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Appeal Court held that “this appeal is bereft of merit. The decision of the Tribunal dismissing the petition is hereby affirmed.”.

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