Tribunal Sacks APC’s Udende, Returns Suswam As Benue North-East Senator

The Benue North-East Senatorial Election Petitions Tribunal has sacked Senator Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the senator-elect.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Udende as the winner of the Benue North-East senatorial election held on February 25.

But the matter was taken to court with the Chairman of a three-man Tribunal, Justice Ory-Zik Ikeorha, and a member of the panel holding that the petitioner, Suswam proved the allegation of over-voting, mutilation, and cancellation of results and election malpractices in five out of the seven local government areas of the senatorial district.

The Tribunal chairman discounted 51,895 votes from Udende’s tally and 21,229 from Suswam’s before recalculating their final votes. Afterward, the PDP candidate had 90,570 votes to beat the incumbent Udende who was left with 82, 699 votes.

One of the Tribunal members, however, disagreed with the decision, noting that the petitioner did not prove how over-voting took place to warrant the cancellation, a point counsel to Udende said he would appeal.

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