POLITICS

2023 Elections: Appeal Court Sacks Abbo, Declares Yohanna Winner

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has voided the election of the lawmaker representing Adamawa North Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Ishaku Abbo, declaring candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amos Yohanna, winner of the 2023 election in the state.

Abbo, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had won his re-election in the February 25, 2023 National Assembly election while Yohanna came second, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The judgment came hours after the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, directed that parties and their counsel appealing judgment delivered by the election petition tribunals to move all appeal cases across the country to the Abuja and Lagos divisions of the appellate court.

The lawmaker and his wife, Stacey Ishaku Abbo, confirmed the development to newsmen and on their social media handles on Monday after the judgment was delivered.

He faulted the judgment and described it as a gang up against him by the judiciary since the Tribunal had affirmed him winner of the election conducted barely seven months earlier.

Stacey, in her post, urged the lawmaker’s supporters to accept the court judgment in good faith as he and her husband have done.

She said: “I’ll always stand by you, come rain come sunshine. Your strength is why I’m strong. God is with us. Our dear supporters, please stand strong”.

Delivering judgment, the three-member panel presided over by Justice C.E. Nwosu-Iheme, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to Amos Yohanna as the duly elected lawmaker representing the area in the National Assembly.

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The appellate vacated the tribunal judgment which had earlier affirmed Abbo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the senatorial election.

But aggrieved by the electoral body’s decision, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Yohanna, went to the tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election but the suit was dismissed for lacking in merit.

Not comfortable with the judgment of the tribunal, the PDP candidate, through his counsel Johnson Usman, approached the Appeal Court.

The Court of Appeal, after hearing arguments from parties, agreed with Usman that based on Section 137 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the results tendered clearly showed that there was no compliance with the Electoral Act.

The court, thereafter, deducted the invalid votes from both parties and found that Yohanna and the PDP won the election by a majority of lawful votes.

In the wake of the judgment, Senator Abbo described it as a coup on democracy but told his supporters to be calm.

 

By Okunade Kehinde 

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