Benue Tribunal Upholds David Mark’s Victory

Benue Tribunal Upholds David Mark’s Victory

Samuel Ogundipe

Reports out of the Benue State capital city of Markurdi say the election of former Senate President, Senator David Mark, has been upheld by an Election Petitions Tribunal.

The election of Senator Mark has been facing a serious challenge from Mr. Daniel Onjeh, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress in March 28, 2015 elections in Benue South Senatorial District.

In a judgment delivered Wednesday by Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, the tribunal ruled that Onjeh’s petition lacked enough evidence to upturn Mark’s victory.

Basing the tribunal’s judgment on Sections 124 and 135 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, Justice Dipeolu ruled that “the petitioner contested the results of election conducted in 700 out of 1,015 pulling units but failed to adduce both oral and documentary evidence to prove his case.

“The petitioner called only two witnesses who directly participated in the election, in a suit in which he is contesting the result of the elections held in 700 polling units.

“Most of the testimonies given by the petitioner’s witnesses were contradictory, hearsay and circumstantial evidence which is not admissible in law as provided by Section 126 of the Evidence Act.”

Justice Dipeolu also observed that the petitioner merely succeeded in dumping documents at the tribunal without making concerted efforts to adduce oral evidence pursuant to the matter.

Mr. Ken Ikonne, lead counsel to Senator Mark, who has been representing the district since 1999, lauded the judgment and declined to seek compensation on behalf of his client, adding that “our gesture is in the interest of peace and reconciliation.”

Senator Mark, in his reaction to the judgment, praised the judiciary for remaining the only hope and defender of the rights of the oppressed.

Happenings Media