Gabriel Suswam, a former Governor of Benue State, has been sacked from the Nigerian Senate by the Court of Appeal sitting in the capital city of Abuja.
The appellate court, on Wednesday, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, said it was satisfied that Suswam was not the valid winner of the senatorial election that held in Benue North East on February 25.
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.
The tribunal had 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 appellate court in its verdict delivered by Justice Abimbola Osarugue Obaseki Adejumo ruled, “The judgement of the tribunal delivered on 8/9/2023 is hereby set aside.
“The return of the Appellant as the winner of the Benue North East senatorial election that was held on February 25 is hereby affirmed.
“Parties are to bear their respective cost.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Udende as winner of the senatorial election after he polled a total of 135,573 votes to defeat Senator Suswam who garnered 112,231 votes.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the election, Suswam approached the tribunal on the ground that it was marred by over-voting, irregularities, alterations and falsification of results.