The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia on Monday nullified the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a split decision.
It instead declared Mr David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Delivering the judgment lasting more than four hours virtually, chairman of the three-member tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, declared Ombugadu the rightful winner of the election.
Justice Chiemelie Onaga, member one of the panel agreed with the judgement read by the panel chairman.
The chairman declared that Ombugadu provided the results of the various polling units and forms EC 8A and proved to the tribunal that the results were manipulated in favour of the APC.
He said that based on the proof from the various polling units before the tribunal, Ombugadu had the majority of valid votes at the election.
He ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Sule and issue a new one to Ombugadu.
The only dissenting judgment was delivered by Justice Ibrahim Mashi, who dismissed the petition filed by the PDP candidate for lacking in merit.
He said the petitioner failed to prove his case and upheld INEC’s declaration of Sule as winner.
Reacting to the tribunal’s decision, Ombugadu’s counsel, Mr Johnson Usman (SAN), lauded it for a detailed judgment.
The counsel said the tribunal had proved that the court is the last hope of the common man by affirming the decision of the majority of the people of the state at the poll.