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Suswam defeats Orubibi at tribunal as Bauchi governor opens defence

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The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State yesterday dismissed the petition filed by Mimi Orubibi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against former Benue Governor Gabriel Suswam’s victory.

In her petition, Orubibi had alleged that Suswam’s election as representative of Benue North East Senatorial District was marred by irregularities such as over voting, falsification of results, infractions, use of thugs and ballot box snatching.

The petitioner also alleged that there was inflation of votes during the transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging that the figures were bloated by 4,993 votes in Katsina-Ala and Logo council areas.But the tribunal dwelled on grounds two of the petition on whether the first respondent (Suswam) was duly returned by majority of lawful votes cast during the February 23, 2019 polls.

Meanwhile, Bauchi State Governor Bala Muhammed, whose election victory has been a subject of litigation at the Governorship Election Tribunal by former Governor of the state, Mohammad Abubakar, opened his defence yesterday. Governor Bala is the second respondent in the petition filed by Abubakar against Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his victory at the March 23, 2019 polls.

He was at the tribunal to witness the opening of his defence when his counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) informed the court that the business of the day was for his client to open his defence and invited their star witness, Alhaji Tanko Dutse. When asked to identify his statement on oath as evidence in chief, Uche urged the tribunal to admit same as evidence in the matter, among other proofs.


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