The Benue North-East Senatorial Election Petitions Tribunal has invalidated Senator Emmanuel Udende’s victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and reinstated Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the elected senator.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared Udende as the winner of the February 25 Benue North-East senatorial election.
However, the matter went to court, where the Tribunal, chaired by Justice Ory-Zik Ikeorha, found that the petitioner, Suswam, provided evidence of over-voting, result mutilation, and election malpractices in five out of the seven local government areas within the senatorial district.
The Tribunal chair deducted 51,895 votes from Udende’s total and 21,229 from Suswam’s before recalculating their final vote counts. Consequently, Suswam, the PDP candidate, secured 90,570 votes, surpassing the incumbent Udende, who was left with 82,699 votes.
It’s worth noting that one Tribunal member disagreed with this decision, arguing that the petitioner didn’t sufficiently prove over-voting to justify result cancellations. Udende’s counsel intends to appeal this ruling.