Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has advised presidential candidates who lost at Wednesday’s ruling of the Presidential Elections Petition Court (PEPC) to appeal to their supporters to accept the verdict instead of going for appeal at the Supreme Court.
A five-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani had dismissed the petitions of Atiku Abubakar (Peoples Democratic Party), Peter Obi (Labour Party) and Chichi Ojei (Allied Peoples Movement) and upheld the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Vice President Kashim Shettima in the February 25 election.
Governor Bello, while fielding questions from State House reporters after a meeting with Vice President Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said there was no ground for the petitioners to appeal.
He said: “Nothing is as successful as success. We are happy; Nigerians are happy and the truth is out there. We appreciate all that happened yesterday (Wednesday). The truth has been exposed. Imagine the justices sitting down for almost fourteen hours to deliver that landmark judgements yesterday.
“Nigerians within the country and in the diaspora are happy and I think it’s time to settle down and face governance. And I advise all those that feel aggrieved, we have only one country, Nigeria. They should all come together and support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ensure that we fix this country. Whatever hardship we are facing today is the effects of the past. Definitely, we have ‘Mr. fix it’ who is trying his best travelling around the world to ensure that Nigeria is fixed. So, we are happy the matter is settled.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think there is any ground for appeal. I will rather appeal to them that they should drop any appeal going to the higher court and then save the resources, save the trouble, advise their supporters, admonish them that they should accept yesterday’s judgement. No flaw. I thank God for all that happened yesterday (Wednesday).”
On his advice to the APC supporters after the party lost two of its senators at the tribunal, he said: “This is democracy and they have right of appeal. I think they will take the appropriate steps to ensure that no violence is orchestrated anywhere. We will follow the due process of the law and whatever will be the outcome at the end of the day, we abide by it. But I want to assure you that even judging from the pronouncements yesterday at the appeal court, we are going to have our 3/3 Senate in Kogi State, I can assure you.”
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Kogi State had on Wednesday nullified the victory of APC Senator Abubakar Ohere as the winner of the Kogi Central senatorial election and declared Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan of the PDP as winner of the February 25 parliamentary election.
Another Senatorial Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, had also on Wednesday sacked the senator representing Delta South, Senator Thomas Onowakpo of the APC after considering the petition of the candidate of the PDP, Mr Michael Diden.