There are increasing tensions in Kogi State as the people await the judgements of the Supreme Court on the state governorship election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Mr. Musa Wada, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti, had approached the apex court to upturn the judgements of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the re-election of Bello.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, on Tuesday adjourned to Monday, August 31, judgements on the two appeals after taking the submissions of lawyers to the parties.
Lawyers to PDP and Wada, led by Mr Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, in adopting their brief of argument pleaded with the apex court to allow the appeal and grant the reliefs sought by their clients.
They claimed that the appellate court erred in arriving at the conclusion that they did not prove allegations of electoral malpractices, which a minority judgement of the tribunal had established and ordered a rerun in seven local government areas where the said malpractices took place.
They urged the apex court to affirm the minority judgement of the tribunal delivered by Justice Ohiamai Ovbiagele.
However, Bello’s lawyer, Mr Joseph Daudu, SAN, and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lack of merit.
Daudu pleaded with the apex court to uphold the concurrent decisions of the Court of Appeal and the majority judgement of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the return of Bello as governor.
After taking the arguments of the lawyers representing parties in the appeal, Muhammad announced that judgement in the matter would be delivered on August 31.
In the second appeal filed by SDP and its governorship candidate, Akpoti, the apex court also announced its decision to give the final verdict on August 31.