The Election Petitions Tribunal in sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has upheld the victory of Senator Gabriel Suswam in the Benue North-East senatorial district election. The three-man panel led by Justice A. O. Odugu upheld Senator Suswam’s victory on Tuesday while ruling on the petition filed by Mimi Orubibi, challenging the election of the former governor in the February 23 polls.
It dismissed the petition of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for noncompliance to section 138 of the electoral act, in the formulation of issue one. The Tribunal also dismissed the petition for the failure of the petitioner to prove allegations of criminality in the electoral process – vote rigging and buying, polling unit by polling unit, in the formulation of issue two. It, therefore, awarded the cost of N100,000 against the petitioner and upheld the victory of Senator Suswam who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Meanwhile, counsels to Senator Suswam, Andrew Wombo, and that of Orubibi, Frank Noomor, have reacted to the ruling of the Tribunal. They disagreed on the interpretation of Section 138 of the Electoral Act and the need to test the outcome of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.