RECAP: How It Went Down At The Supreme Court Yesterday For 8 States


1. LAGOS = APC (Gov. Sanwo-Olu Returned)

2. BAUCHI = PDP (Gov. Bala Mohammed Returned)

3. KANO = NNPP (Gov. Abba Yusuf Returned)

4. ZAMFARA = PDP (Gov. Dauda Lawal Returned)

5. EBONYI = APC (Gov. Francis Nwifuru Returned)

6. PLATEAU = PDP (Gov. Caleb Mutfwang Returned)

7. ABIA = LP (Gov. Alex Otti Returned)

8. CROSS RIVERS = APC (Gov. Bassey Otu Returned)

APC = 3

PDP = 3

NNPP = 1

LP = 1.



The apex court started the day with the judgement on Lagos State where the duo of Labour Party and PDP's appeals were dismissed in favour of the incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu making the ruling APC to retain the nation's economic capital.

The Labour Party's appeal which was hinged on non qualification because of dual citizenship, the Apex court ruled that: "There is no provision in the Constitution that strips a Nigerian by birth of his citizenship on account of acquiring the citizenship of another country"

While the PDP's appeal was thrown out due to the time frame of the 180 days to determine the case. “This appeal is devoid of any merit, and it is accordingly dismissed" the court ruled. 


In Bauchi State, the petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court to find out "Whether the lower court properly appraised relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022" having lost at both tribunal and Appeal Courts. 

Justice Ibrahim Saulawa who read the lead judgement said the main issues in the appeal centre on allegations of electoral malpractices against Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC, and Governor Mohammed.

The petitioner, according to the Supreme Court, was unable to show at the tribunal the anomaly such as improper filing of election results during the election and how it substantially affected the outcome of the 18 March 2023 poll, adding that the appellant was unable to discharge the burden of proof as required of him by the law ruling that ”On the basis of the findings, having effectively resolved all the issues against the appellant, the appeal is apparently devoid of merit. The judgement of the Court of Appeal is hereby affirmed. The appeal is dismissed.” 


We headed to Kano State where the incumbent Governor of the NNPP had lost both the tribunal and appeal courts as he sought refuge at the Supreme Court.

Justice John Okoro who read the lead judgement said the suit was predicated on alleged forgery of NNPP membership card by Governor Yusuf, and votes manipulation by INEC in favour of the governor.

Ruling on the vote manipulation leading to the deduction of 165,616 votes from the NNPP, Justice Okoro said it was based on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, however, vying off from that track, Justice Okoro said the provision does not regulate actions at the polling units, insisting that it must be proven that a ballot paper was not the ones deployed for the conduct of the election querying , “What is the effect of a ballot paper not having the marks by the Electoral commission?”

In his ruling, he ruled that: “A ballot paper that does not bear INEC mark is not invalid by all purposess" Continuing, he ruled further: 

“There is no proof that the said ballot papers were not the one used at the election. Thus the decision of the Court of Appeal affirming the decision of the tribunal ought to be set aside,.

“Finally, the lower court wrongly misconstrued its evaluation of the ballot papers. This amounts to perversion. Accordingly, all the ballot papers are restored to Governor Yusuf."

On the issue of Governor Yusuf’s membership of the NNPP, Justice Okoro ruled held that the issue of nomination is exclusively the internal affairs of a political party. Therefore, it is not justiceable noting that Section 177 (c) of the Constitution only frowns on independent candidate and nothing more while lampooning the lower courts that “It is absurd to contend that an individual contested and won an election on the platform of a party, only for someone else to wake up and challenge the winner’s membership of the party.

"The court below erred in law by investigating the governor’s membership of the NNPP. 

"In conclusion, judges should be more meticulous" said Justice Okoro. 

“There is merit in this appeal. And the appeal is hereby allowed. The appellant won majority of lawful votes.

“The judgement of the lower Court voiding the election of the Appellant is hereby set aside,” Justice Okoro ruled. 


Immediately after the Kano State governorship appeal judgement was given, that of Zamfara State was called by the court and Justice Emmanuel Agim read the lead judgement.

In Zamfara State, the state election petition tribunal had upheld the election of the governor while that of the appeal court set it aside prompting the governor to seek further intervention at the Supreme Court. 

Justice Agim reviewed the evidence of the parties involved and in his review said the appellant, Bello Matawalle of the APC alleged that Governor Dauda Lawal of the PDP did not win the majority of lawful votes cast at the 18 March election.

“What was the evidence led to prove the allegation made by the petitioner?” Justice Agim asks.

Continuing, the Judge ruled that Mr. Matawalle of the APC was unable to prove his allegations of over voting beyond every reasonable doubt. 

“What is needed to prove the petition is the duplicate copy of the results which the petitioner failed to provide,” ruled Justice Agim. 

“The allegation of over-voting failed because INEC did not provide the voter register, polling unit officer report, and testimony of people who were present at the polling unit,” the judge ruled further

Justice Agim remarked that BVAS machines on their own cannot establish electoral malpractices.

“Sufficient evidence was not adduced by the petitioner.

“This court is of the view that the tribunal was right. The judgement of the Court of Appeal was perverse, because the petitioner (Mr Matawalle) failed woefully to prove his allegations,” the judge declared.

“The decision of the Court of Appeal has no evidential foundation.

“The judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered in November is set aside. The order setting aside the appellant’s election is set aside. And the election of the Appellant is upheld. Justice Agim ruled.


The Ebonyi State Governorship Appeal at the Supreme Court was simple and straightforward as the judges cited precedents of the Supreme court. 

Justice Tijjani Abubakar read the lead judgement.

Justice Abubakar traced the history of the dispute after the 18 March governorship election in Ebonyi State as the sponsorship of the governor by the APC and non compliance of the electoral act. 

Ruling on the matter, Justice Abubakar noted:

"The issue revolves around the jurisdiction of the lower court. The contention is that Governor Nwifuru was not qualified to contest the election.”

"Section 177 of the Constitution convers the criteria for contesting governorship election of a state.

" Precedents set by the Supreme Court repeatedly ask the tribunal to refrain from the issue of membership of a party. 

"The end result in this appeal is that the appellant failed to provide any evidence to establish the allegation of non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

“The appellant appeal is bound to fall like a pack of cards.

“This appeal is unmeritorious. It is therefore dismissed. The judgement of the Court of Appeal is affirmed,” Justice Abubakar ruled.


By the results declared by the INEC, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 525,299 votes to beat the All Progressives Congress candidate, Nentawe Yilwatda, who garnered 481,370 votes during the 18 March governorship poll in Plateau State.

The governor’s election was upheld by the Plateau State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos, the state capital.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja overturned the victory, necessitating Mr Mutfwang’s appeal at the Supreme Court.

Justice Emmanuel Agim read the lead judgement. 

In his ruling, Justice Agim noted the APC’s contention that the appellant was not qualified to contest the election. The APC says Governor Mutfwang’s nomination as a candidate and his election were invalid by virtue of non-compliance with the electoral law.

The Court of Appeal held that the primary election that produced Governor Mutfwang as the PDP’s candidate and his subsequent nomination to INEC were invalid. The party said he was not qualified to be Governor of Plateau State, the justice notes in his review of the decision of the appellate court sacking Mr Mutfwang.

“We have held in a plethora of cases that the sponsorship of candidate for election is an internal affair of a political party.

“The court of appeal lacks the jurisdiction to determine the validity of the candidacy of the PDP,” Justice Agim held. 

"Mr Yilwatda of the APC has no right to challenge the emergence of Governor Mutfwang as a ticket-holder of the PDP, the justice Agim further ruled.

The Court of Appeal had anchored its decision sacking the governor on the alleged failure of the PDP to comply with an order of the Plateau State High Court to conduct fresh congresses before holding primary elections for nomination of its candidates for the 2023 general elections

But the Supreme Court justice said the order of the High Court had nothing to do with the the party’s power to conduct primaries for the PDP as it did to nominate Governor Mutfwang as its candidate for the governorship election.

The justice ruled that despite that, there is evidence showing that the order of the Plateau State High Court was complied with by the party.

"Can the tribunal and the Court of Appeal determine the validity of the nomination of a candidate? The Judge asked.

"The order of the High Court of Plateau State had nothing to do with powe of NEC of the PDP; it is a jurisdictional matter" the justice added. 

"The legal profession should wake up," the justice says, adding that, "for this reason, this appeal is allowed. The judgement of the Court of Appeal is set aside, inclusive of the orders made therein." 

"The judgement of the tribunal is restored. The election of the governor is further restored,” Justice Agim declared.

In his consenting opinion, Justice Okoro said “My only worry is that a lot of people have suffered as a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision. It was absolutely wrong. The appeal is allowed.”

Justices Uwani Abba-Aji, and Helen Ogunwumiju also concured with the lead judgement.

“It was very wrong for the Court of Appeal to go into the issue of party congresses. To make make matters worse, the party challenging the issue is another political party,” Justice Helen Ogunwumiju commented. 

She added that the Court of Appeal made a fundamental error by shifting the burden of proof on Governor Mutfwang.

Justice Adamu Jauro equally agreed with the judgement.


Justice Uwani Abba-Aji read the lead judgement.

In his reviews, Justice Uwani noted that the petitioner’s grouse was that Governor Otti was not a member of the Labour Party as of the time he vied and won the Abia State Governorship Election.

In delivering his judgement, the judge remarked that by the nature of case, it ought not to have been brought to the Supreme Court owning to the plethora of decided cases on the same issue.

"In fact, this appeal ought not to have come to the Supreme Court. This is a pre-election matter that should have been litigated at the Federal High Court. We have taken this position in several cases. 

“Election petition does not permit piecemeal filing of processes, 

"This appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed. The election of the Governor of Abia State is affirmed" Justice Abba-Aji held. 

Continuing, Justice Abba-Aji equally read the lead judgement on the APC's petition against the Governor of Abia.

Ikechi Emenike, the APC’s governorship candidate contested the victory of Governor Otti at the polls.

"The tribunal and Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Emenike’s appeal" the Justice recalled.

“The appeal is unmeritorious and vexatious. It is accordingly dismissed,” Justice Abba-Aji says.

She added: “There is no need to subvert the political will of the people who voted overwhelmingly for the governor.

“There is no merit in this appeal. I affirm the concurrent findings of the lower courts.”

Justice Helen Ogunwumiju agreed with the lead decision.


Justice Helen Ogunwumiju read the lead decision on Cross River State governorship election appeal.

Reviewing the the lower court’s decisions, Justice Helen noted that the appeal was centred on the judgement of the Cross River State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal which the appeal filed by the candidate of the PDP, Sandy Onor, a professor, challenging Governor Otu’s election victory.

Justice Ogunwumiju reviewed the pieces of evidence that were canvassed before the court.

Delivering her ruling', “Section 40 of the constitution guarantees the freedom of association; it is an intrinsic human rights which cannot be denied. The defection of Governor Otu from the PDP to the APC is of no consequence,” the Justice ruled.

Continuing, “No evidence was led by the appellant to show that Governor Otu forged his secondary school certificate. The appellant’s case isnonsensical,” Justice Ogunwumiju further ruled.

“The appeal is a waste of judicial time. It is hereby dismissed. Parties are to bear their respective costs,” Justice Ogunwumiju ruled.

Justices Uwani Abba-Aji, Adamu Jauro, Emmanuel Agim, and John Okoro agreed with the lead decision.

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