The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Kwara State, Senator Simeon Ajibola challenging the emergence of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as the governor of the State.
A three-man panel of justices of the appellate court led by Justice Peter Ige in their ruling on Tuesday noted that the appeal lacked merit and dismissed it accordingly. The court, therefore, upheld the election of Ahmed as governor of Kwara State.
Further in his ruling, Justice Ige awarded the cost of N2.5m in favour of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the first respondent and the All Progressive Congress, the second respondent. He also directed that the sum of N1m be paid in favor of the third respondent; Independent National Electoral Commission.
The PDP candidate had gone before the appellate court to challenge a verdict of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had on April 15, 2016, validated Governor Ahmed’s election.
The suit was however dismissed by the high court which held that the appellant lacked the locus standi to query the primary election that produced Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as the APC’s candidate.
Governor Ahmed who argued through his lawyer Mr. Adebayo Adelodun, SAN, maintained that the appellant had no right under any law to inquire into how primary election of another political party was conducted.
Dissatisfied with the high court judgment, Ajibola approached the appellate court.
In his reaction, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed described the verdict as a reaffirmation of mandate given to him by the people of Kwara State.