The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the election victory of Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial election, which took place in February.
In a judgment delivered by a three-member panel, the court affirmed the earlier decision of the state’s election tribunal and rejected the appeal lodged by Sen. Abubakar Ohere of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court concurred with the argument presented by Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan’s counsel, Mr. Joshua Usman, SAN, stating that it was meritorious. As part of its ruling, the appellate court also imposed a fine of N500,000 against Sen. Abubakar Ohere.
Earlier, the Kogi State National and State Assemblies Tribunal had, on September 6, declared Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan the duly elected candidate for the senatorial election and invalidated Sen. Ohere’s victory. In a unanimous judgment, the tribunal’s chairman, Justice K. A. Orjiako, revealed that Sen. Ohere’s results had been inflated in nine polling units in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area. Furthermore, it was noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission had reduced Natasha’s results in those areas and omitted the results of three other polling units designated for Natasha in the same LGA. With these necessary corrections, the court declared Natasha as the victor of the election with 54,074 votes, surpassing Sen. Ohere, who garnered 51,291 votes.
However, Sen. Ohere was dissatisfied with the decision and subsequently filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal, seeking to overturn the election results.