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Appeal Court reinstates Agbo as PDP lawmaker representing Benue

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, has declared Mr Francis Agbo as the validly nominated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State.

In a unanimous judgment, the three-man panel of the appellate court held that Ms Aida Ogwuche who was declared winner of the PDP primaries by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was still a staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Services as at the time of the election.

Mr Agbo, who doubles as the Chairman of the House Committee on Narcotics and Drugs came second at the disputed primary election.

Consequently, the court ordered the INEC, to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to her and issued same to Agbo as the validly nominated candidate of the party for the federal seat.

Justice Bature Gafai who led the panel of justices said Ogwuche ought to have resigned her employment from the service before contesting in the primary election of the PDP.

The judge relied on Section 66 (I) (f) of the 1999 Constitution to declare Ogwuche’s election as unlawful and invalid.

The Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi had on November 11, 2022 declared Ogwuche as the duly elected candidate of the PDP for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency.

Agbo had approached the trial court for an order disqualifying Ogwuche’s candidacy on the grounds that she did not resign her appointment before contesting the election.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Julian Osamoto & Adeniyi Bakare