A member of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in a minority judgment, however, posited that the former Benue Governor and candidate of the PDP, Gabriel Suswam, did not prove the allegation of over-voting.
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benue State has sacked the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Emmanuel Udende, as the lawmaker representing Benue North-East Senatorial District.
The tribunal thus returned Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), who is also a former governor of the State, as Senator-elect for the district.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Udende as the winner of the Benue North-East senatorial election held on February 25, 2023. However, Senator Gabriel Suswam challenged the result of the election in court, contending that Udende did not secure the majority of legitimate votes for the Benue North East Senatorial District election.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Ory-Zik Ikeorha on Friday held that former Governor Suswam proved the allegation of over-voting, mutilation, and cancellation of results and election malpractices in five (5) out of the seven (7) local government areas of the senatorial district.
A member of the panel, however, opposed the decision, noting that the petitioner was unable to provide sufficient evidence to back up claims of over-voting to warrant the cancellation.
Udende’s counsel, in his reaction to the judgment, said the Senator would appeal the judgment.