Appeal Court affirms LP’s Ireti Kingibe as FCT Senator

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an appeal brought before it by former Senator Philip Aduda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the election of Senator Ireti Kingibe, as the Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the platform of the Labour Party.

In the judgment delivered via Zoom, the appellate court dismissed Aduda’s appeal for lacking in merit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the FCT senatorial election, Prof. Sani Saka, had declared Kingibe the winner of the poll after garnering 202,175 votes to defeat Aduda who garnered 100,544 votes and came second.

But Aduda, through his lawyers approached the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, with a petition challenging the election of Kingibe.

Aduda’s legal team had alleged that the collation of results across the FCT area councils was yet to be concluded when Kingibe was declared the winner by the electoral umpire.

The Tribunal, however, dismissed Aduda’s petition for lacking in merit and upheld Kingibe’s victory at the February 25, 2023 polls.

Aduda’s legal team disagreed with the tribunal’s verdict and applied to the Court of Appeal, seeking to set aside the judgment of the tribunal.

But, Kingibe, through her lawyers argued before the Court of Appeal that Aduda’s petition was rightly dismissed and urged the appellate court to affirm the judgement of the tribunal.

The Court of Appeal, in its judgment delivered on Wednesday by,l Justice Daniel Kahiru, held that Aduda did not tender the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine data and voter register to prove the allegation of irregularities in the conduct of the election.

The court held the appellants also failed to prove overvoting and, while affirming Ireti as the winner, held that “All the issues in this appeal are resolved against the appellant.”

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