National/State Election Petition tribunal in Benue State presided over by Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu yesterday dismissed the petition brought against former Senate President, David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The tribunal held that the petitioner failed to substantially proof that the senatorial election in Benue South district where he and Mark hail from did not comply with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Onjeh, in his petition had contended that the re-election of Mark was marred by irregularities such as ballot stuffing, manipulation of votes, financial inducement, falsification of results, abuse of office, over-voting as well as mutilation of results sheets.
However, Justice Dipeolu disagreed with him, arguing that the evidence of his witnesses were contradictory as they were based on hearsay which is not admissible in law.
She said, “Witnesses contradicted their statement in admitting that the election held free and fair in their polling units. Their evidence is based on hearsay”.
Justice Dipeolu also stated that the documentary as well as oral evidence did not show that the election was fraudulent.
She held that the people who tendered the documents were not the makers, stressing that the documents were tendered without any linkage to the petitioner.
“The petitioner and his witnesses did not link documents to the case. They did not show figures to prove non compliance. He did not prove that non compliance affected the result of the election.
“Ballot boxes and papers should have been brought to court to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. Issue of falsification should have been made by the polling agents even as the petitioner did not produce or invite anyone who alleged harassment or intimidation.
“Their evidence is based on the hearsay including that of the data analyst who admitted that his report was erroneous. Based on all these, I hold that the petitioner failed to prove that the election was not held in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and the petition fails and is accordingly dismissed”, Justice Dipeolu maintained.

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