Court rulings deplete Senate

…As six PDP, two APC senators lose seats

The gale of re- run elections ordered by the Court of Appeal on senatorial election cases at the appellate level across the federation within the last two weeks has reduced the number of serving senators from 109 to 101.

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The eight senators whose elections were nullified with the re- run election verdict , are senators David Mark (PDP Benue South) , Uche Ekwunife (PDP Anambra Central), Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North) and three senators from Rivers State: Sekibo George (PDP Rivers East), Nwogu Olaka Johnson (PDP Rivers South East) and Ideozu Osinakachukwu (PDP Rivers West).

The two APC Senators affected so far, are from Kogi State i.e, Abubakar Abdulrahaman (Kogi East) and Mohammed Abdulsalami Ohiare (Kogi Central).

This is even as two other senators , one PDP and one APC , lost their seats out rightly via court of Appeal rulings to their closest challengers in the March 28, 2015 National Assembly election.

The two senators are Abba Marafa Bashir PDP Taraba Central) and Egye Salihu Hussain (APC Nasarawa South).

The development has brought down the composition of serving senators on the platform of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to 58 as against those belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), now 43.

Though many of the eight senators affected expressed optimism of coming back any time the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct their re- run elections, there is the likelihood of some of them not making it back.

While the two affected APC senators from Kogi State, may find it easy wining the re-run elections on account of the State now in the kitty of the APC at the governorship level, it may be difficult for their PDP counterparts in other states.

Specifically, chances of all the PDP senators from Rivers State returning back en block at the re-run elections look very dicey going by change of political atmosphere in the country now, as it relates to vested political interests in the state.

The same scenarios are also set to play out in Anambra Central senatorial re- run election between Senator Uche Ekwunife of the PDP and Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), going by the fact that APGA remains the ruling party in the state while Ekwunife’s party incumbency at the centre is no longer there.

Ditto for Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North), who may not find it easy to defeat the former governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu of the Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA).

But the former Senate President, David Mark in his reaction to the nullification of his election penultimate Saturday, boasted that he would certainly come back to the Senate with ease in the re-run election.

Mark, in a statement issued by his media assistant, Paul Mumeh, said he won the annulled election convincingly and will win again with similar wide margin against his main challenger, Donald Onjeh of the APC even 100 times.

He restated his confidence to supporters at the weekend in Otukpo, Benue State where he said:”I know that my people of Benue South are angry about the Appeal Tribunal judgement, but be calm and resolve to translate this anger into good conduct and massive vote for me in the forthcoming rerun election.

“See this forthcoming rerun polls as challenge for our emancipation. We must not allow external forces to dictate our political destiny.

“We won the election clearly. We will win again. These are trying times, but history will judge because the mandate of the people cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

“We must also be vigilant against external forces who are bent on capitalizing on the situation to divide us and weaken our collective resolve. But I know their attempts would fail because only the Idoma man can decide his future and destiny.

“We know ourselves and we know where to go when the time comes. Those who want to infiltrate our ranks should by now know that Benue South is totally a PDP home and there is no room for intruders”.

“ We (PDP) produced a Senator, four members of House of Representatives, 10 out of 11 state House of Assembly members in our constituency, so how will any other party have a space here”