What is happening in the Nigerian political space now is comparable to what happens in football: when a footballer scores, it's not yet time for full celebration, as it used to be, until the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), verifies, confirms or dismisses it.
Nigeria's 2019 elections have been concluded and winners have been announced but appeal courts are still hearing the petitions filed by candidates who were not satisfied with the outcome of some of the poll's results.
Significantly, the 'election VAR', that's the appeal courts, has been handing out some landmark rulings.
Some candidates declared by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as winners have had their elections upturned by the court while some got theirs affirmed.
In this piece, Legit.ng highlights top lawmakers, Senators and House of Reps, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose elections have been upturned by the appeal courts.
1. Abdulmumin Jibrin, Kiru/Bebeji Constituency Federal Constituency, Kano
Abdulmumin Jibrin, a House of Reps member representing Kiru/Bebeji Constituency in Kano was sacked on Friday, November 1, by the appeal court and a fresh election was ordered within 90 days.
His election was challenged by Aliyu Datti Yako, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
2. Alhaji Bala Hassan, Sokoto North/Sokoto South Federal Constituency, Sokoto state
Alhaji Bala Hassan, representing Sokoto North/Sokoto South Federal Constituency, has also been sacked by the appeal court.
His election was challenged by the candidate of the PDP, Abubakar Abdullahi.
The Court of Appeal also ordered INEC to conduct rerun election within 90 days.
3. Mohammed Lawal, Ajaokuta Federal Constituency, Kogi state
Mohammed Lawal has equally been sacked as the lawmaker representing Ajaokuta Federal Constituency, Kogi state, in the House of Representatives.
Lawal's election was challenged by the PDP’s candidate, Aloysius Okino.
The appeal court sitting in Abuja ordered INEC to conduct rerun elections in 21 polling units in the constituency.
4. Albert Akintoye, Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency, Ondo state
This is a bit different. The PDP candidate, Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga, was actually declared the winner by INEC.
But in a surprise ruling, the election tribunal sacked Gboluga and declared the APC candidate, Albert Akintoye, as the winner.
The tribunal sacked Gboluga for having dual citizenship, that is, for swearing to an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom (UK).
However, the Court of Appeal later upturned the tribunal judgment and ordered INEC to issue Certificate of Return to Akintoye after withdrawing same from Gboluga.
The appeal court ruled that a Nigerian citizen by birth cannot be disqualified from contesting elections because he acquired additional citizenship of other countries to which he swore an oath of allegiance.
5. Senator Abubakar Tambuwal, Sokoto South
Senator Abubakar Tambuwal's election was equally nullified by the appeal court. The court subsequently ordered the return of the PDP candidate, Ibrahim Danbaba, as the Senator representing the constituency.
6. Aliyu Shehu, Bodinga/Dange Shuni/Tureta Federal Constituency, Sokoto
The appeal court also nullified Shehu's election and ordered the return of PDP's Balarabe Kakale for the House of Representatives.
7. Alhassan Doguwa, Tudunwada/Doguwa federal constituency, Kano
The election of Alhassan Doguwa, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, has also been nullified by the appeal court.
Doguwa was sacked just as the court ordered a fresh election. His election was challenged by PDP's Yusha’u Salisu.
8. Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of Delta state and senator, Delta South
The Court of Appeal declared James Manager the winner of the Delta South Senatorial District election, voiding the judgement of the tribunal which had nullified Manager’s election and ordered a rerun.
9. Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, Ekiti South
In a judgement which has been described as shocking, the Court of Appeal sacked the spokesman of the Nigerian Senate, Adedayo Adeyeye, as the lawmaker representing Ekiti South senatorial district.
The court declared Senator Biodun Olujimi of the PDP winner of the election.
Meanwhile, apparently determined to reconcile its aggrieved members which led to some needless defeats, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC has adopted the recommendation of the national caucus that President Muhammadu Buhari should constitute a national reconciliation committee.
Legit.ng reports that the party in a thread of tweets on its Twitter page on Friday, November 22, said the standing committee would be empowered to address grievances of party members and resolve existing conflicts with a view to fostering unity and oneness within the party.
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