The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja upheld the election of Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate, Prof. Steve Ugba had appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal upholding Suswam’s victory at the polls.
The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Benue had dismissed the petition on the ground that it was not heard within 180 days as stipulated in Section 285(6) of the constitution.
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola held that the appeal was an abuse of court process.
Ariwoola held that section 285(6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, stipulates 180 days for election petition to be heard and determined by an election petition tribunal.
He said that no court of law had the power to extend or enlarge the 180 days, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction over election petition outside 180 days.
The court held that Section 285 was clear and unambiguous, adding: ``the court would not allow it to be prompted to breaking the provisions of the constitution.
“If any legislation is against the people, the relevant authority to amend that legislation is the National Assembly.
“It is not the duty of the court to help the legislature to amend the constitution. The duty of the court is to interpret the provisions of the constitution,’’ he said.
The appellant had urged the court to cancel the result on the election on the ground that Suswam forged his West African Examination Council Certificate to contest the election.