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Court of Appeal Sacks Benue Assembly Deputy Speaker

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The Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna on Friday has sacked the Deputy Speaker of the Benue state House of Assembly, .

Adaji who represents Ohimini state constituency under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party appealed the decision of the State and National Assembly Election tribunal ordering for fresh elections in the two polling units of the Deputy Speaker’s constituency.

The presiding Judge of the three-man panel, Honourable Justice , who delivered the lead judgment in the separate appeals filed by the and Mr Christopher Adaji said the appeals lacked merit.

Justice Mbaba agreed with the decision of the Tribunal that the declaration and return of Adaji by the Independent National Electoral Commission () as winner of the 2019 Ohimini State Constituency election, without rerun in Otega and Ogadagba was invalid by reason of non- compliance with Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The Appellate Court further held that the findings of the Tribunal have not been appealed.

“I find no merit in this appeal,” Justice Mbaba held and consequently dismissed same.

He, therefore, issued an order directing INEC to conduct fresh election in the two polling units within 90 days from the day of the judgment, as earlier ordered by the Tribunal.

Justice Mbaba further awarded the cost of N200, 000 only in each of the appeals against the appellants as cost.

INEC had returned Adaji winner with a margin of 397 votes, which is less than 1, 056 votes cancelled in the two polling units complained of at the end of the March 9, 2019, Obimini State Constituency election.

Adelowo Adegboyega
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