A’Court sacks Suswam, Abba Moro wins

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has nullified the election of former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, as senator representing Northeast district.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices, said it was satisfied that Suswam was not the valid winner of the election.

It faulted the judgement of the Benue State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which returned Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Senate, after it nullified the election victory of Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to the appellate court, the tribunal wrongly evaluated the evidence that was presented before it by the parties in the matter and thereby arrived at an erroneous conclusion that upheld the petition Suswam filed to challenge Udende’s election victory.

Consequently, the court voided the judgement of the tribunal, saying it found merit in the appeal that was lodged before it by the APC candidate.

“The judgement of the tribunal delivered on 8th of September, 2023 is hereby set aside.

“The return of the appellant as the winner of the Benue Northeast senatorial election that was held on February 25 is hereby affirmed.

“Parties are to bear their respective cost,” the court held in its lead verdict that was delivered by Justice Abimbola Adejumo, who led the panel.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Udende winner after he polled 135,573 votes to defeat Suswam who garnered 112,231 votes.

In another judgment, the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the re-election of Patrick Abba Moro of the PDP for the Benue South senatorial seat.

In a unanimous judgment, a three-member panel of Justices, said it was satisfied that Moro was the valid winner of the senatorial election in Benue South.

Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi in her lead judgment held that APC and its candidate, Daniel Onjeh, did not establish their allegation that Senator Moro was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast.

The appellate court further dismissed Onjeh’s allegation that Senator Moro tendered a forged birth certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification to contest the senatorial poll. The court held that Onjeh did not adduce any evidence to support his allegation of forgery against Senator Moro.


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