The Election Petitions Tribunal presiding over senatorial elections in Rivers State on Thursday nullified the victory of George Sekibo of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The lawmaker has, however, told PREMIUM TIMES he will appeal the judgement.
Based on precedent, the senator is expected to continue in his seat until the matter is finally adjudicated upon by the Court of Appeal.
Andrew Uchendu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, was declared the winner of the re-run election, which held on December 10, 2016.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Mr. Sekibo winner of the election conducted in Rivers East Senatorial District.
The tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from Mr. Sekibo and give it to Mr. Uchendu.
INEC had in December declared 93,098 votes for Mr. 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 Six of Okrika LGA and parts of Obio/Akpor LGA were ignored by INEC.
Mr. Sekibo has said he will appeal the ruling, even though he respects the verdicts of the panel.
“We are going to appeal and I believe that the Appeal Court will see the truth better and vindicate us,” Mr. Sekibo told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. 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.
Editor’s Note: This updated post clarifies that Mr. Sekibo’s election matter terminates at the Court of Appeal.