By Olumide Bajulaiye
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Minna, Niger State on Friday declared Barrister David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of Niger East Senatorial by-election conducted on August 30, 2014.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Dr. Shem Zagbayi Nuhu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the by-election.
The Chairman of the 3-man tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako, who gave the verdict in a judgement that lasted for hours said, the APC candidate polled 79,779 votes as against Dr. Shem Zagbayi Nuhu who had 68,525 votes.
Umaru of APC had petitioned the tribunal challenging the declaration of Nuhu of PDP by INEC as the winner of the by-election.
The August 30, 2014 by-election was declared inconclusive due to electoral malpractice in some polling units.
The re-run was held in polling units in Bosso, Chanchaga, Munya, Paikoro, Rafi and Shiroro local government areas.
The Returning Officer for the election, Morenikeji Olakonmi, who announced the results in Minna, said Mr. Zagbai scored 92, 056 votes against David Umaru of APC, who polled 87, 405 votes.
He said Isa Bello of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and Abdulahi Diko of Social Democratic Party scored 2,185 and 419 votes respectively.
With this judgement, APC now has two Senators from Niger State – Niger East and Niger North Senatorial districts-while PDP hold on to its control of Niger South Senatorial district.