Toba Owojaiye Reporting
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the victory of Governor Bala Mohammed in the Bauchi State governorship election held on March 18. The appeal, brought forth by Sadique Abubakar of the All Progressives Congress (APC), contested the tribunal’s decision that affirmed Mohammed’s win. The panel of three justices, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeal without costs, stating that each party should bear their own expenses.
Truth Live News reports that one of the appellant’s pleas was to nullify the election due to improperly filled forms and booklets. However, the court found that the appellant failed to substantiate this claim with sufficient evidence. It noted that the appellant did not identify the specific polling units involved or clarify what was lacking in the forms.
Additionally, the court emphasized that there was no demonstration of how the alleged irregularities impacted the election results. The court commended the tribunal for a thorough examination of the evidence presented and highlighted that the appellant’s witnesses were unable to prove their familiarity with the forms in question.
Governor Bala Mohammed, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), emerged as the winner of the election, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He secured 525,280 votes, surpassing his closest rival, Sadique Abubakar of the APC, who garnered 432,272 votes. The Returning Officer, Prof. Abdulkarim Mohammed, declared the results, revealing a total of 2,749,268 registered voters and 1,058,381 accredited voters.
Governor Mohammed claimed victory in 15 out of the 20 local government areas, including Toro, Tafawa Balewa, Ningi, Alkaleri, Dass, Ganjuwa, Zaki, Shira, Dambam, Itas/Gadau, Warji, Bogoro, Jama’are, and Kirfi. On the other hand, APC’s Sadique Abubakar secured victories in five LGAs: Katagum, Misau, Darazo, Gamawa, and Giade. The Court of Appeal’s affirmation solidifies Governor Bala Mohammed’s mandate, concluding the legal challenge to the election results.