Appeal Court sacks Suswam as Senator, affirms APC candidate as rightful winner

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday sacked the former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam from the Senate.

In a unanimous ruling by a panel of three justices, the appellate court declared that Suswam could not have been the legitimate winner of the senatorial election that took place in Benue North East on February 25.

It criticized the decision made by the Benue State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which sent PDP candidate Suswam back to the Senate.

Gabriel Suswam
Gabriel Suswam

Emmanuel Udende’s election victory as a member of the All Progressives Congress, or APC, was declared void by the tribunal.

The appellate court in it judgement said 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 pronounced the following ruling, which Justice Abimbola Osarugue Obaseki Adejumo read aloud: “The tribunal’s 8/9/2023 ruling is hereby set aside.

This confirms the appellant’s declaration as the victor of the February 25 senatorial election in Benue North East.

“Each party is responsible for their own costs.”

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Udende the victor of the senatorial race after he garnered 135,573 votes overall, as opposed to Senator Suswam’s 112,231 votes.

Unhappy with the election’s outcome, Suswam approached the tribunal, claiming that it was tainted by excessive voting, anomalies, changes, and result falsification.

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