cfcfcfcCourt of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State capital, yesterday, nullified the election of former Senate President, Sen. David Mark.
In the judgment delivered by Justice Peter Ige, the court upturned the decision of the lower tribunal, which had ruled in favour of Mark stating that it erred in not usingthe evidence of PW 17 on the issue of collating results a day after Mark had been declared winner of the March 28 election.
Justice Ige said that the election failed to comply with the Electoral Act stressing, “having failed to comply with the Electoral Act I hereby set aside the judgment of the lower tribunal and order INEC hold fresh election within 90 days in the zone.”
The Judge, who cited various legal authorities in support of his judgment, submitted that the appellant, Daniel Onjeh, proved his case beyond reasonable doubt that as at the time Mark was declared winner of the senatorial election on March 28, results from seven local governments were still being awaited on March 29.
He also stated that none of the ten witnesses of the respondent controverted the arguments of the appellant that the result of the election was not announced before the collation of the entire results especially from the said seven local government areas.
“The appellant showed by oral evidence that collation of results were still ongoing in seven local governments as at 29 March, 2015 when the first respondent was declared winner of the election.
Out of the six issues formulated for consideration by the appellant, the court ruled 1,2 and 3 in his favour while issues 4 and 5 were in favour of Mark. Issue 6 was struck out.
Meanwhile, Senator David Mark (PDP) has called on his constituents to remain calm over the Court of Appeal’s annulment of his victory in the Benue South Senatorial District election.
Senator Mark in a reaction to the verdict urged people of his district to prepare for the rerun, saying he believed that he won the annulled election convincingly and has no doubt that his constituents would turn out en masse to elect him again.
“Whatever the situation may be, one thing I know is that my people are solidly behind me. They also appreciate the fact that I have done more than enough to lift Idoma nation to position of eminence in the contemporary political history of Nigeria,” Senator Mark stated.
“I won the election clean and clear. If we go back to the polls 100 times, I will still win convincingly,” he added

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