The Court of Appeal in Makurdi Division, on Friday upheld the election of David Mark as the senator representing Benue South Senatorial District in the Feb. 20 rerun legislative election .
Delivering the lead judgment, Justice Obande Ogunya, affirmed the judgment of the tribunal which dismissed the petition of Mr Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the former Senate President.
Ogunya made it clear that the lower tribunal was right to have struck out Onjeh’s petition for being statute barred.
According to him, the Interpretation Act can not apply in this case due to sui generis nature of election matters.
He explained that the 21 days allocated to a petitioner to file his case started counting from the date of declaration of results.
The judge, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye and a member of the panel, Justice Cecilia Jumbo, both agreed with the lead judgment read by Ogunya and accordingly disallowed the appeal.
Onjeh had earlier filed a fresh petition before the tribunal asking for his declaration as the winner of the poll instead of Mark.
But, the tribunal Chaired by Justice Abdullahi Sanya, struck out the petition on June 30, for being filed out of time.
Reacting to the judgment of the appeal court, Onjeh expressed disappointment but stated that he would accept it in good faith since legislative matters could not go beyond the Court of Appeal.
Mark’s Counsel, Ikonne applauded the erudite judgment of the appellate court, saying that it was expected.