The Rivers state elections petition tribunal today sacked George Thompson Sekibo, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator representing Rivers East and declared Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the senatorial election.
The Tribunal also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Sekibo and issue a fresh certificate of return to Mr. Uchendu.
The Tribunal’s decision was hinged on the fact that Mr Uchendu won the lawful majority vote cast during the Rivers Re-run legislative election.
Uchendu had approached the tribunal with a petition asking the court to declare him winner of the poll, alleging that INEC failed to take into cognisance the results of some wards and polling units before declaring Sekibo the winner of the polls.
The Tribunal hinged it’s decision on substantial non compliance with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
Senator Sekibo has however said he will appeal the judgement.
Based on precedence, the senator is expected to continue in his seat until the matter is finally adjudicated upon by the Supreme Court.
INEC had in December declared 93,098 votes for Senator Sekibo to defeat Mr. Uchendu, who the commission had said scored 34,193 votes.
But the tribunal found that Mr. Uchendu had actually defeated Mr. Sekibo by scoring 126, 160 against the PDP candidate who scored 84,000 votes.
The tribunal said results on Form EC8A in Ikwerre and Emuoha Local Government Areas and Ward 6 of Okrika LGA and parts of Obio/Akpor LGA were ignored by INEC.
Senator Sekibo, 60, had served two terms in the Senate. He was first elected in 2007 after serving a term in the House of Representatives between 2003 to 2007.