The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja has partially nullified the Kogi Senatorial East election and a supplementary election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Sen. Jibrin Isha Echocho of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Senatorial election held on February 25, 2023.
According to results declared by INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Musa Ibrahim, in Idah, the headquarters of Kogi East Senatorial district, Echocho scored 108,784 votes to defeat Victor Adoji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who garnered 81,867 votes.
Adoji, however, rejected the result, citing widespread violence, voter suppression, and manipulation of results.
The tribunal in a judgement on Tuesday, September 5, sacked the senator representing the district, Jibrin Isah, on the ground that elections were cancelled in 94 polling units.
he tribunal also ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election in the affected 94 polling units.
The Tribunal Chairman, K.A. Orjiako, who delivered the judgment on the petition brought before it by Victor Adoji, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 25 February election, agreed with the prayers of Mr Adoji.
Mr Adoji, had through his Counsel, Johnson Usman (SAN), challenged the return of Mr Isah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the ground that elections were cancelled in some polling units where the PVCs collected were more than the margin of his win.
The petitioner had pleaded with the tribunal to anull the election of Mr Isah, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs Excise and Tarriffs, on the ground that elections were cancelled in 94 polling units and ordered for a supplementary election in the affected 94 polling units in the senatorial district.
Delivering a unanimous judgement of the tribunal, Mr Orjiako agreed with the submission of Mr Usman and ordered for the withdrawal of his certificate of return.
“Since the PVCs collected in the 94 polling units is 59,730, while the margin of win is 26,922 votes, the Returning Officer ought to have declared the election inconclusive without making a return.
“Consequently, this honourable Tribunal hereby granted the reliefs sought by the Petitioners. We also set aside the Certificate of Return issued to Jibrin Isah.
“The tribunal hereby also order INEC to conduct a supplementary election in the affected polling units where election did not hold or cancelled in order to determine the winner, ” Mr Orjiako declared.