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Appeal Court sacks Benue Deputy Speaker

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital has affirmed the decision of the National/State House of Assembly Election Tribunal sacking the Deputy Speaker Benue Assembly Christopher Adaji (Ohimini/PDP).

Presiding Judge of the three-man panel Justice I. G. Mbaba, who delivered the lead judgment in in the separate appeals filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Christopher Adaji, hold that the appeals lack merit.

Justice Mbaba agreed with the decision of the Tribunal that the declaration and return of Adaji by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the 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 ordered directing INEC to conduct fresh election in the two polling units within 90 days as earlier ordered by the Tribunal.

Justice Mbaba further awarded the cost N200, 000.00 only in each of the appeal against the appellants as cost.

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

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