The highest court in Nigeria, the Supreme Court has vacated Mr. Orker Jev (APC) from the Buruku Federal Constituency seat belonging to Benue State in the House of Representatives.
Jev had gone to the Supreme Court hoping to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal, Makurdi which had affirmed the decision of the trial court ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier handed Jev.
The Supreme Court further ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days to fill the void brought about by the removal of Jev.
Supreme Court ordered further that the name of Jev be struck out from the ballot for the fresh elections and be replaced with Serkar Iortyom. The apex court further ordered the sum of N500,000 be paid to Iortyom by Jev.
“This appeal is devoid of merit; it is hereby accordingly dismissed. There must be a fresh election to elect a new member for the Buruku Federal Constituency in the National Assembly” the court ruled.
The apex court stated that Serkar Iortyom could not be declared winner and asked to be sworn in following the removal of Jev because such an order would violate the provisions of Section 141 of the Electoral Act.
The court said it was curious as to how a ward with total of 601 registered and accredited voters would have a result in excess of 2000 vote casts.
“Even if all the voters voted for the apellant, he would not have scored 2000 votes in excess to emerge winner, the panel noted with dismay.
Sekav Iortyom had filed suit against the ACN, INEC and Mr. Orker Jev at the Federal High Court Makurdi alleging that his name was wrongfully substituted by his party with the name of Jev shortly before the 2011 general elections.