Upsets as tribunals upturn results in Enugu, Benue, Bayelsa, others
It was a mixed grill yesterday for some members of the National Assembly after the election petition tribunals in the various states either nullified or upheld their elections in the February/March polls.
All Progressives Congress’ Senator Emmanuel Udende (Benue North East), Peoples Democratic Party’s Fred Agbebi (Sagbama/Ekeremor) and Labour Party’s Professor Sunday Nnamchi (Enugu East/Isi Uzo) were sacked by the tribunals while their opponents were declared winners instead.
But Senators Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), Kaka Lawan (APC, Borno Central), Aniekan Bassey (PDP, Akwa Ibom North East), Solomon Adeola (APC, Ogun West) as well as Rep Mohammed Alkali (Peoples Redemption Party, Jos North/Bassa) pulled through as their elections were upheld. In a split decision of two to one, the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Benue State declared former governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam of the PDP, as the winner of the Benue North-East Senatorial District.
Suswam had challenged the declaration of Senator Emmanuel Udende by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the 2023 elections. However, Senator Suswam, who had challenged the declaration of Udende, was returned after a judgment that lasted more than three hours in Makurdi on Friday. The tribunal ruled that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast during the February, 2023 election.
Umahi’s election in Ebonyi South upheld
Also yesterday, the Ebonyi State Election Petitions Tribunal affirmed the election of Senator David Umahi for Ebonyi South Senatorial zone. Umahi, who is now the Minister of Works, had defeated Mr Linus Okorie of Labour Party and Senator Ama Nnachi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Both Senator Nnachi and Mr Okorie challenged the results in separate suits at the tribunal. In its ruling, the tribunal ruled that Nnachi and the PDP failed to prove their allegation of illegal cancellation of results with a view to falsifying the results.
A similar fate befell Okorie’s petition.
The tribunal said the plaintiffs “failed to prove that the principle of margin of votes was applicable to the Petition. They failed to prove that the total number of PVCs collected in polling units where elections allegedly did not hold was more than the difference between the 1st Petitioner and 2nd Respondent. “The Petitioners did not discharge the burden placed on them by the law. Their case therefore fails.”
Lawan, Ndume confirmed as Borno Central/South Senators
The Borno State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal struck out a petition filed by PDP’s Mohammed Kumalia, challenging the victory of Borno Central Senator, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan. The three-man tribunal of Justices M.E Anenih, Justice A.I. Ityonyman and Justice A.O. Adeniji held that the petitioner “failed to present cogent, reliable and compelling evidence that could be sufficient to affect the poll’s result as declared by INEC”. Scores of residents and Lawan’s supporters trooped to the streets in jubilation as news of his victory at the tribunal spread.
The tribunal also upheld the election of Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).
Source: The Nation
”Keep hope alive, nothing good comes easy” – Peter Obi tells ‘Obidients’ after tribunal verdict
Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, has urged his supporters to remain steadfast despite the verdict of the presidential election tribunal, which dismissed the LP’s case against Bola Tinubu’s electoral victory.
In a message posted on his X page on Saturday, Obi noted that there has been disappointment in his support base over the verdict. He, however, stated that despite the disappointment, the dream of ‘Obidients’ to see a new Nigeria ”remains alive for all times.”
”Since the tribunal verdict, there has been a note of general despair among the Obidients and the generality of our supporters. I assure you all that on this journey, despair or surrender is not in our options,” the former governor of Anambra said.
He added: ”Today, I want to personally reach out and encourage you all to keep hope alive. Considering the challenges that lie ahead of us as a movement, despair is not an option. Nothing good in life comes easy. ”Throughout history, positive changes come only with sacrifices, perseverance, resilience and fluctuating fortunes.
”Right from the onset of our journey, I told you all that the journey upon which we were about to embark was not a short sprint but a long and tough marathon. It was always going to be difficult, painful and excruciating.
”We set out knowing fully well that the forces we are up against are entrenched and formidable but not insurmountable. They would resist the wind of change and try to push us into surrender or despair. We must not succumb to their design.
”I am inspired that we have endured the odds placed in our way at every point. In such a short space of time, we have persevered to get to the point where we cannot be ignored any longer. Therefore, I urge you to abide and never think of giving up.”
Source: Politics Nigeria