Independent National Electoral Commission in Niger has been ordered to issue Certificate of Return to Mr David Umaru of All Progressives Congress as winner of Niger East senatorial by-election.
Justice Ibrahim Bako, Chairman of the three-man National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, gave the order at the Niger State High Court 7 in Minna on Friday.
It should be recalled that the by-election was held in Aug. 2014 during which Dr Nuhu Zagbayi of the Peoples Democratic Party was declared winner
Bako, who read the judgment, said Umaru scored 79,779 votes as against Zagbayi’s 68,525 votes.
Bako said “INEC is hereby directed to issue certificate of return to Umaru as Senator representing Niger East.
“An order is hereby granted nullifying the result of 100 polling units out of the polling units that were affected by non-compliance.”
“An order is hereby issued nullifying the return of Zagbayi that he did not win the majority of the votes.”
“An order is granted nullifying the return of Zagbayi on the ground that he did not win the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election held on Aug. 30 and concluded on Sept. 6, 2014.
“An order declaring the petitioner as the winner of the election held on the Aug. 30, but concluded on Sept. 6, 2014; having won the majority of lawful votes cast at the election, be and is hereby granted.”
“An order directing INEC to issue a Certificate of Return Umaru forthwith as the duly elected senator for Niger East Senatorial District, is hereby granted”, he added.
Mr Chris Osuagwu, counsel to Umaru, told NAN that the victory was just the beginning of good things for the forthcoming general elections.
Osuagwu enjoined APC supporters not to lose hope, adding that the victory recorded in the tribunal was an indication that people were ready for change.
Also, Mr Musa Suleiman, counsel to Zagbayi, said his client would abide by the judgment.
The seat became vacant following the death of the former occupant, Dahiru Awaisu, during an illness.