Nigeria court cancels governorship polls in 5 states

ABUJA Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:31am IST

A Nigerian police officer watches over ballot boxes in Ikoyi, Lagos, April 9, 2011. REUTERS/Nick Tattersall

A Nigerian police officer watches over ballot boxes in Ikoyi, Lagos, April 9, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Nick Tattersall

Related Topics

ABUJA (Reuters) - Five of Nigeria's powerful ruling party state governors, including one in the oil-producing Niger Delta, will not have to stand for re-election in polls later this month, an appeals court ruled on Friday.

Nigeria holds presidential elections on Saturday and is due to end its electoral cycle with governorship races in the 36 states on April 26, but the five argued they should be exempted as they had not yet completed full four-year terms.

The governors of Bayelsa and Cross Rivers states in the south, Kogi and Adamawa in central Nigeria and Sokoto in the north all had their 2007 election victories overturned by the courts but went on to win re-runs the following year.

They won a ruling in February preventing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from forcing fresh elections this month but the INEC appealed.

"In law, there were no elections in the five states in April 2007 ... Nobody can be validly elected in an invalid election," Justice Paul Galinje told the Appeals Court in Abuja on Friday.

"The appeal is hereby dismissed."

The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) saw its parliamentary majority reduced in legislative elections last Saturday and is likely to face a tough battle retaining its control of over two thirds of the country's states.

The court decision means it may avoid some of the fiercest state contests and bolsters its regional standing.

President Goodluck Jonathan is widely considered the front-runner in Saturday's presidential race.

The PDP candidate has won every election since the end of military rule in 1999 and is up against a divided opposition with regional rather than national support bases.

(For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ )

(Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Sophie Hares)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage