By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday, affirmed the election of Hon. Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo as the duly elected member representing Akko Central Constituency.
The unanimous decision, delivered by the lead judge, Justice Uzoamaka Ifeyinwa Ndukwe-Anyawu, upheld the return of Luggerewo by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as proper and in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act 2022.
The court’s ruling was unambiguous in dismissing any dissenting judgment, asserting the merit of the appeal.
The counsel for the appellant, Barr. Caleb Ubale, successfully argued that the order for a supplementary election in unit code 018 of Kumo East ward and the collation of results in three units in Kumo central ward lacked merit. The court agreed, emphasizing that the initial petitioners-turned-respondents failed to substantiate their claims.
This judgment saw the resolution of three appeals stemming from the Election Tribunal’s initial decision, bringing clarity to the contested issues related to the supplementary election in Kumo East ward and the reduction of the Speaker’s margin of victory in Kumo central ward.
The Court of Appeal found the first and second appeals (Abubakar Mohamed v. Bashir Mohamed & 3 others and All Progressives Congress v. Bashir Mohamed & 3 others) meritorious, while dismissing the third appeal by INEC.
The grounds for rejecting the INEC appeal centered on the court’s insistence on the electoral body maintaining an unbiased umpire role.