BENUE GOV TUSSLE: I'VE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO UNSEAT SUSWAM -UGBAH
Ahead of the pre-hearing session fixed for July 18, 2011 by the Benue State Governorship Election Tribunal, the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Professor Steve Ugbah said his party has sufficient evidence to unseat Governor Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the tribunal.
Professor Ugba said the findings of the police on the alleged assassination attempt on Governor Suswam have vindicated the party's position that it was staged-managed to score cheap political sympathy.
Speaking to Daily Sun on the success of his petition at the tribunal, Professor Ugbah expressed confidence that with the type of evidence in his possession, the chances of nullifying the elections were very bright.
'We have substantial evidence that can stand the test of time at the tribunal to show that we were robbed of victory. The evidence are indeed overwhelming and we trust in our team of lawyers and the impartiality of members of the tribunal.'
It would be recalled that the Tribunal had earlier ordered INEC Benue State to produce all ballot papers used for the conduct of the Governorship election on April 26, 2011 in the Local Governments which they failed to produce for the inspection by the petitioners in Makurdi to same forthwith. The local governments are; Logo, Ukum, Guma and Apa.
Meanwhile, proceedings in the objections filed by Governor Suswam and his party questioning the jurisdiction of the tribunal to sit over the petition suffered hitches owing to the non-service of the ACN's reply to the objections on the respondents in the appeal.
The tribunal has however directed that the process be served on all the respondents before the next adjourned date.
In another petition, Professor Daniel Saror of the All Nigeria Peoples Party [ANPP] is challenging the election of Governor Gabriel Suswam on the ground that Governor Gabriel Suswam was not qualified to contest the 2011 Governorship Election in Benue State having presented a forged GCE 1982 O/Level Certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
But controversy has continued to trail the alleged plot by some armed men suspected to be from the opposition party to assassinate Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam who was alleged to have narrowly escaped death at Abua, a Makurdi satellite town of about 15km from the state capital, alongside the Makurdi-Gboko Road.
While the suspected assassins have been mentioned to be contributors of the competition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) within the state, the ACN had insisted that it used to be no longer answerable for the act, pronouncing that the governor will have to glance inside his birthday party.
The incident allegedly took place while Governor Suswam, in the comapny of his wife Yemisi used to be driving in a protracted convoy from Makurdi to Katsina-Ala to wait a grand reception in his honour by means of the Sankera neighborhood.
The alleged assassins, numbering approximately six in a defaced Japanese automobile and armed with subtle guns, had, on sighting Suswam's convoy, reportedly moved instantly against the Escalade Sports Utility Van (SUV) conveying the governor and his spouse in a bid to forcefully forestall the automobile.