The Supreme Court, yesterday, affirmed the election of Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Abdullahi Ganduje, Bala Mohammed and Simon Lanlong as validly elected governors of Sokoto, Kano, Bauchi and Plateau states respectively.
By this development, the apex court has shifted anxiety to Governors Samuel Ortom and Ahmad Fintiri of Adamawa States, when it takes on the appeals challenging their elections today.
Consequently, fear and apprehension has enveloped Adamawa and Benue.
The election of the two governors, who are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were challenged by candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Emmanuel Jime and Jibrilla Bindow, respectively.
Jime and Bindow had approached the apex court having lost at the state’s election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, Benue Police Command said it has put adequate security measures in place to ensure there is no breach of the peace of the state.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Catherine Anene, who disclosed this said: “ We have deployed our personnel to every nook and cranny of the state. There is high-level of police patrol. We have deployed four armoured personnel carrier (APC) to strategic areas across the state.”
Although, it is not yet clear where the pendulum would swing in the judgement, supporters of the APC and PDP have expressed optimism that their candidates would coast home to victory.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, yesterday, upheld the victory of Simon Lalong and Senator Bala Mohammed as duly elected governors of Plateau and Bauchi states, respectively.
Gen. Jerry Useni of the PDP had challenged the election of Lalong on grounds that he did not win majority of the votes cast at the poll and for substantial non compliance with the electoral laws and other irregularities as grounds for nullification of the return of Lalong.
However, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition on the grounds that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations.
The apex court in the unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Paul Galinje, accordingly affirmed the election of Lalong as governor of Plateau.
Similarly, the apex court also affirmed the election of Senator Bala Muhammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor of Bauchi state.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Musa Dantijo, the court dismissed the petition by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammed Abubakar for lacking in merit.
The Supreme Court, however, held that the appellant failed to prove that there was non compliance that substantially affected the conduct of the election.
The apex court also affirmed the elections of Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (APC) and and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto (PDP)
Buhari congratulates Ganduje, Lalong
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), for the Supreme Court judgement that upheld the elections of governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Simon Lalong of Plateau on Monday.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari, commended the APC National Executive Council, National Working Committee and members for the loyalty and consistency that translated into many victories, particularly the politically strategic states, Kano and Plateau, after tough legal challenges.
“I am glad this tortuous journey has ended in favour of the party and our governors. APC won the states and has proved it in court. It would have been a major blow if strategically important states like Kano and Plateau are lost,” said Buhari.
Time for reconciliation, Ganduje
Governor Ganduje has extended the olive branch to his political rivals, saying with the end of litigation in the governorship contest at the Supreme Court, it was time to reconcile differences.
Ganduje spoke with journalists, yesterday, in his office, disclosing that he was looking forward to reconciling with members of the opposition party in the state, including the members of the Kwankwaso’s flank of the Peoples Democratic Party)PDP) in a bid to move the state forward.
He said he had forgiven everybody who had wronged him in their actions or utterances during the electioneering period, while expressing the hope that everybody too would forgive him for his own trespasses against them.
Lalong, Useni react
Governor Lalong said the affirmation of his election victory has finally sealed and confirmed beyond questioning the overwhelming mandate bestowed on him by Plateau people.
Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, said he was not in doubt of the validity of his mandate.
“I again dedicate this victory to God and the people of Plateau State irrespective of their political, social, religious or ethnic affiliations,” he said.
Tambuwal dedicates victory to God, Sokoto people
Governor Tambuwal has dedicated his victory to God and the people of the state.
“I give glory to Allah for the gift of life and this victory. There is nothing else to say than to thank God and all the Muslim clerics for your prayers both at all the Jumaat mosque and the one organised at the Eid-ground.
Governor Tambuwal who arrived Sokoto at about 4pm was received by huge crowd of supporters at Sultan Muhammadu Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto.
He then moved in a motorcade with party supporters hailing him before stopped at the Government House where a special prayer was held for him by Imams of notable central mosques in the state.
Residents trooped out to almost all streets in Sokoto metropolis celebrating the affirmation of Tambuwal. Some of the crowded streets include Fodio road, Runjin Sambo, Usmanu Danfodiyo University road, Old market, Gobirawa, Rijiya among others.