The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won a major victory in Nasarawa State as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal, in a virtual judgment delivered on Monday by its chairman, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, declared that the PDP candidate, David Ombugadu, was the lawfully elected governor of Nasarawa State in the March 2023 election.
The tribunal held that the petitioner, Ombugadu, was able to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt that there were irregularities, over-voting, and disruption of votes in some polling units during the election.
The tribunal also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Ombugadu as the duly elected governor of Nasarawa State.
The judgment was greeted with jubilation by PDP supporters and sympathizers who thronged the tribunal premises in Lafia, the state capital.
Ombugadu, in his reaction, thanked the tribunal for upholding justice and the will of the people. He dedicated his victory to God and the people of Nasarawa State who voted for him.
He also called on Governor Sule and the APC to accept the verdict in good faith and join hands with him to move the state forward.
However, Governor Sule and the APC have rejected the tribunal’s verdict, describing it as a travesty of justice and a rape of democracy.
They vowed to challenge the judgment at the Court of Appeal, insisting that they won the election fair and square.
Sule, who was accompanied by former governors Abdullahi Adamu and Tanko Al-makura, among other APC stalwarts, said he was confident that the appellate court would overturn the tribunal’s decision and restore his mandate.
He urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, assuring them that he was still the governor of Nasarawa State until the final determination of the case.