The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna State on Thursday affirmed the election of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

In the unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Olumuyiwa Aburu, the court upheld the judgement of the state Election Petitions Tribunal which dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Isa Ashiru for lacking in merit.

The court further concurred with the tribunal judgement which held that the PDP candidate could not prove his allegations of massive rigging and other electoral irregularities levelled against the governor.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared El-Rufai the winner of the March 9 election in the state.

Not satisfied with INEC’s declaration, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the poll, Isa Ashiru had approached the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal where his petition was dismissed for lacking in merit. 

Ashiru and the PDP had asked the Tribunal to cancel a total of 515,951 votes which they alleged were unlawfully allocated to the APC as well as 124,210 unlawful votes added to the PDP through wrong or double entry on the INEC result sheets.

In a similar development, the Appeal Court in Owerri on Thursday also upheld the election of Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Reading the judgment, Chairman of the panel, R.A Ada said that the appeals filed by Senator Osita Izunaso of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Okorocha lacked merit.

The judge held that the judgment of the State Elections Petition Tribunal which upheld the victory of the immediate past Governor of the state was in order.

The panel said that the petitioners could not prove their allegations of violence, over-voting, mutilation of electoral results and hijacking of electoral officers. 

The justice further said that they could also not prove the allegation of declaration of results under duress as alleged by the Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Innocent Ibeawuchi.