ONE of the topmost awaited court rulings of the year was delivered yesterday at the Supreme Court on Monday, one that upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the winner of the last governorship election in Kogi State.
In two judgments delivered by Justice Uwan Abba Aji, the court’s seven-man panel, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Mohammad, dismissed the two appeals decided on Monday.
The ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) waste no time to shower him congratulatory messages as he became victorious.
In a statement in Abuja by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the party said: “This victory will definitely buoy Governor Bello to focus on his administration’s commendable effort to ensure peace and guarantee security for the people of the state. Kogi State under Governor Bello is already one of the frontline states leading the agricultural revolution.”
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) also congratulated Governor Bello on his election victory at the apex court.
A statement in Jos by the forum’s chairman and Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong said: “The Supreme Court judgment affirming your election victory gives you an opportunity to settle down to serve your people and fulfill their aspirations without any distraction.”
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola congratulated Bello, saying: “This is indeed a victory for democracy and the good people of Kogi State who freely gave Governor Bello the mandate to govern them for another term. This will also serve as a boost for the governor to continue to deliver dividends of democracy to his people.”
Main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the Supreme Court verdict.
A statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said: “Indeed, the judgment had not inspired hope in our national quest to ensure that our elections are violence-free as well as deter unpatriotic individuals, who resort to violence and killing, to gain access to power, as heavily witnessed in the Kogi election.”
“However, as a law-abiding party, we call on the people of Kogi State and Nigerians at large, to remain calm, yet undeterred in their quest for the entrenchment of credible electoral process in our country.”