Thursday, 23 April 2015

Benue Elections: Suswam makes u-turn, challenges APC victory

Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam has submitted his petition to the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, challenging the declaration of his opponent Chief Barnabas Gemade, senator elect of Benue North-East senatorial district as winner.

Barr Andrew Wombo, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, counsel and Governor Suswam are challenging the election of Senator Gemade on the grounds that there were irregularities and that he did not meet the amount of votes required by INEC to confirm him as winner in the March 28 polls held in the state.

The petition which was submitted alongside other aggrieved contestants came on the heels of the election petitions tribunal declaration that any contestant who so feels aggrieved with the outcome of the election results has just 21 days to file their petitions to seek redress.

The court has also urged aggrieved parties to adhere strictly to the deadline, insisting that after the expiration of the stipulated time anything arising thereafter will not be entertained.

Observers were taken aback with the contradictions of Governor Suswam’s renewed vigor to embark on fresh litigation against his rival Senator Gemade.

It would be recalled that Suswam while receiving in audience the governor elect, Dr. Samuel Ortom, at the banquet hall of Government House in Makurdi a forth night ago, publicly alluded that he will never institute legal action against the emergence of Dr. Ortom’s victory at the concluded polls because he knows first-hand how court cases distracts governance.

Similarly, analysts are surprised at the sudden twist of events as the governor is set to embark on legal action to reclaim what he called misplaced mandate thereby contradicting his earlier avowed stance.

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