The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, declared Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the duly elected candidate for the Kogi Central Senatorial Election held in February 2023.
The court also dismissed the appeal brought by Abubakar Ohere of the All Progressives Congress as meritless.
According to reports, the state’s Election Petitions Tribunal pronounced Akpoti-Uduagan the winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial race in September. It also nullified Ohere’s triumph.
The unanimous decision of the three-man panel was presented by the Tribunal Chairman, Justice K. A. Orjiako, confirming that Ohere’s results were inflated in nine polling units in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area.
He further stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) decreased Natasha’s results in those regions and removed the results of three other polling units in the same LGA that were designated for Natasha.
Ohere sought remedies in response to the Tribunal’s decision. However, the Appeal Court upheld Akpoti-Uduagan’s election victory.
Earlier, Akpoti-Uduaghan had requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, examine the outcome of the Kogi Central senatorial election.
In a letter dated March 1, 2023, Kpoti-Uduaghan asked for a reconsideration of the declaration and return of the Ohore candidate as the winner of the February 25 senate election.
Akpoti-Uduaghan, in the letter written by her lawyer, Johnson Usman, argued that “the candidate of the APC was wrongly returned with 52,132 votes and declared the winner of the election in the senatorial district, while our client was wrongly credited with 51,763 votes”.
According to the letter, the error was followed by a rigorous study of the election results from the duplicate of the result sheets, which proved that votes were changed and adjusted in favour of the APC’s candidate.
She said that the alleged results tampering took place in three polling units in Ganaja township Ward, Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state.
Reacting to the Appeal Court verdict, Akpoti-Uduagan posted, “We won the appeal. Joy amidst tears Thank you, Kogi Central. This is us together” on her official Facebook page.