Declare Me Winner – Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Approaches Court To Sack Her Opponent
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi Central Senatorial candidate, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has prayed the National Assembly Tribunal to sack her opponent from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Sadiku-Ohere and declare her winner.
Naija News reports that Sadiku-Ohere was declared the winner for the Kogi Central Senatorial seat by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded National Assembly elections.
The INEC returning officer for Kogi Central Senatorial district, Rotimi Ajayi, had said the APC candidate garnered 52,132 votes to beat Natasha who had 51,763 votes.
However, in her petition filed by her lawyer, Samuel Ogala, is seeking the tribunal to sack Sadiku-Ohere and declare her the winner of the election.
The court document according to a SaharaReporters report read, “1. Your 1st Petitioner, NATASHA HADIZA AKPOTI – UDUAGHAN, is the candidate sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contest the Kogi Central Senatorial District election, and, participated in the election.
“2. Your 2nd Petitioner, the PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) is one of the registered political parties in Nigeria and sponsored the 1st Petitioner as its candidate, to contest the Kogi Central Senatorial District election.
“3. The 1st Respondent, OHERE SADIKU ABUBAKAR, contested the Kogi Central Senatorial District election, as the candidate sponsored by the 2nd Respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC).
“4. The 2nd Respondent, the ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC), is one of the registered political parties in Nigeria and sponsored the 1st Respondent to contest the Kogi Central Senatorial District election.
“5. The 3rd Respondent, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) is the body charged with the responsibility of conducting national elections in Nigeria. The 3rd Respondent conducted the Senatorial District Elections, including the Kogi Central Senatorial District election on 25th February 2023 and 26th February 2023 in some polling units of Ajaokuta Local Government Area, Particularly Ganaja township through its own staff and ad–hoc staff recruited by its and who operated as the agents of the 3rd respondent.
“Every person who acted as Presiding Officers, Assistant Presiding Officers and Supervisory Presiding Officers in all the Polling Points/Stations/Units, Registration Area/Wards Collation Officers in the Registration Area/Ward Collation Centers, Local Government Collation Officers in the Local Government Collation Centers, Senatorial District Collation Officers in the Senatorial District Collation Centre, the Returning Officer, the Resident Electoral Commissioner and any other person who acted in one capacity or the other on behalf of the 3rd Respondent at the aforesaid election, acted as agents of the 3rd Respondent.
“The Petitioners plead and shall rely on the Declaration of Result, FORM EC8E (I). 11. The 3rd Respondent declared and returned the 1st Respondent winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial District election, and, the Petitioners state that the 1st Respondent was not duly elected and/or duly returned as the winner of the aforesaid election; having not scored the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
“D. THE GROUND OF THE PETITION 12. The Petitioners state that the ground for presenting the Petition is that: i. The 1st Respondent, OHERE SADIKU ABUBAKAR, was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election. E. PARTICULARS OF THE GROUND OF THE PETITION.
“13. The Petitioners state that the 1st Petitioner scored the highest number of lawful votes cast at the Kogi Central Senatorial District election and ought to have been declared the winner and returned elected by the 3rd Respondent.
“14. The Petitioners state that the 2nd Respondent was wrongly declared the winner of the said election and its candidate, the 1st Respondent was unduly and wrongfully returned as the Senator–elect for Kogi Central Senatorial District by the 3rd Respondent.
“15. The Petitioners state that the 3rd Respondent in the conduct of the National Assembly Elections held in Kogi Central Senatorial District on 25th of February, 2023 was to be guided by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, Manual for Election Official and Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022 made pursuant to the Act. The Petitioners plead the Manual for Election Official and Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022.”