Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Drags INEC, APC to Tribunal, Vows to Reclaim Mandate
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate for Kogi Central senatorial district have been dragged to the elections petition tribunal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Kogi Central in the last senatorial election, Barr. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan
Natasha alleged that the outcome of the election was not what was declared alleging that it was rigged in favour of Kogi Central APC senatorial candidate, Ohere Sadiku Abubakar.
Akpoti who said she is resolute in reclaiming her mandate for the people of Kogi Central that massively voted for her said the journey to reclaiming the mandate has officially started.
In the petition dated Thursday, March 16, Natasha’s legal counsel, Chief Umeh Kalu, SAN, faulted the declaration of Ohere Abubakar as the winner of Kogi Central Senatorial District election held Saturday, February 25, 2023, adding that “the 1st Petitioner, Natasha Hadiza Akpoti – Uduaghan be declared winner and issued a Certificate of Return as the duly elected candidate at the Kogi Central Senatorial District election, having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election held on the 25th and 26th February 2023, and, satisfied the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Electoral Act, 2022”.
“The 3rd Respondent (INEC) declared and returned the 1st Respondent winner (Abubakar) 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.
“The Petitioners state that the ground for presenting the Petition is that:
“The 1st Respondent, OHERE SADIKU ABUBAKAR, was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
“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 winner and returned elected by the 3rd Respondent
“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,” the petition partly read.
Natasha broke a record for being the first female senatorial candidate from Kogi Central when she challenged the status quo and decided to throw her hat in the ring against all odds. She will become the first female senator from the State if she is able to reclaim her mandate through the tribunal.