The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Tuesday, declared Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan of the Peoples Democratic Party as the duly elected candidate for the Kogi Central Senatorial Election held in February 2023.
The court further dismissed the appeal filed by Abubakar Ohere of the All Progressives Congress for lacking in merit.
The state’s Election Petitions Tribunal, in September, had declared Akpoti-Uduagan winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial election, PUNCH Online reports. It also invalidated the victory of Ohere.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice K. A. Orjiako, delivered the unanimous judgment of the three-man panel, revealing that Ohere’s results were inflated in nine polling units in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area.
He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission reduced Natasha’s results in those areas and omitted the results of three other polling units meant for Natasha in the same LGA.
The Tribunal judgment led Ohere to seek redress. However, the Appeal Court further maintained that Akpoti-Uduagan won the election.
Earlier, Akpoti-Uduaghan had asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu to review the outcome of the senatorial election in Kogi Central.
Akpoti-Uduaghan in the letter written by her lawyer, Johnson Usman, argued that, “The candidate of APC was wrongly returned with 52,132 votes and declared the winner of the election in the senatorial district while our client was wrongly credited with 51,763 votes”.
According to the letter, the mistake was followed by a careful and meticulous review of the election results from the duplicate of the result sheets, which revealed that votes were manipulated and adjusted in favour of the APC’s candidate.
She claimed that the alleged manipulation of results occurred in three polling units in Ganaja township Ward, Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state.
Reacting to the Appeal Court verdict, Akpoti-Uduagan, posted “We won the Appeal. Joy amidst tears. Thank you Kogi Central. This is us together ????????”
on her official Facebook page.