The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Kogi State Central Senatorial election has been declared as the authentic winner of the February Senatorial election in Kogi Central by the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal.
This was as the tribunal nullified the victory of Senator. Abubakar Ohere as the winner of the election.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice K. A. Orjiako who read the unanimous judgment of the 3-man panel, said Ohere results were inflated in 9 polling units of Ajaokuta LGA while that of Natasha was intentional reduced in the same 9 polling units by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ward Collation officers.
He also stated that 3 other polling units results was deliberately not entered for Natasha in the same LGA.
The Tribunal said that Natasha results in the 9 polling units of Ajaokuta LGA was 1073 as against the 77 that was recorded by the Ward Collation officers while that of the APC candidate, Abubakar Ohere was inflated to 1553 against the actual figure of 1031.
“The Tribunal is also convinced that the petitioners 996 votes in polling units 009, 046 and O49 polling units of Ganaja village of Ajaokuta LGA was deliberately not recorded at the Ward Collation centre.
The Tribunal held that it is not the duty of Collation officers to reject results submitted by Presiding officers from polling units in election that followed the electoral guidelines substantially.
“The issues raised by the petitioner is hereby resolved in favour of the petitioners and after making the proper correction, Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan (PDP) having polled 54,074 against Abubakar Ohere (APC) who polled 51,291 is hereby declared the authentic winner.”
The Tribunal subsequently ordered the 3rd respondent (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Returns issued to Ohere and Issue same to Natasha.
The Court also chided INEC for deliberately going out of its mandate of conducting a free and fair election to conniving with political parties to subvert the will of the people.
He therefore ordered INEC to pay N500,000 to Natasha for ‘subverting justice’ in the Senatorial election.
Counsel to Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan, Johnson Usman (SAN) in his reaction said the judgment has now validate the true winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial Election.
“This is victory for the people of Kogi Central Senatorial district, victory for Kogi State and Nigeria in general as well as victory for the electoral processes.