SENATOR Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been removed from office by the Benue North-East Senatorial Election Petitions Tribunal, and Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been reinstated as the senator-elect.
Udende was proclaimed the winner of the February 25 Benue North-East senatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, the matter was taken to court, where Justice Ory-Zik Ikeorha, the Chairman of a three-man Tribunal, and a member of the panel decided that the petitioner, Suswam, had proven the allegations of excessive voting, mutilation, cancellation of results, and election malpractice in five out of the senatorial district’s seven local government areas.
The Tribunal chairman deducted 51,895 votes from Udende’s total and 21,229 from Suswam’s before recalculating their final votes. Following that, the incumbent Udende received 82, 699 votes, leaving the PDP contender with 90, 570 votes to defeat him.
However, one of the Tribunal members disagreed with it, arguing that the petitioner had not shown sufficient evidence of overvoting to support the cancellation and as a result one of Udende’s attorney announced he would appeal this judgment.