The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, has affirmed Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and dismissed the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti, on the election held last year.
SDP and Ms Akpoti had filed the petition to challenge the return of Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC on the grounds that the governorship poll was marred with irregularities.
The respondents in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC and Mr Bello.
But while delivering judgement in the suit on Monday, the three-member tribunal led by Justice Kashim Kaigama held that the petition failed woefully.
Mr Kaigama also held that the testimonies given by the petitioners’ witnesses amounted to hearsay, were doubtful, illogical, and of no probative value.
Consequently, the tribunal ordered the petitioners (SDP and Ms Akpoti) to pay N100,000 to each of the respondents.
The total cost to be paid by the petitioners sums up to N600,000.
In the election, Mr Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his closest opponent, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Musa Wada, who scored 189,704 votes.
Ms Akpoti came a distant third with a score of 9,482 votes.