The National/State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi yesterday, upheld the election of the representative of Otukpo/Akpa constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon Johnson Ahubi who is a cousin to former Senate President, David Mark.
Hon Ahubi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was dragged to the tribunal by Hon Baba Ode of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who alleged that Ahubi’s election was marred by irregularities; including ballot box snatching, manipulation and over-voting in 12 polling units of the constituency.
However, the Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led tribunal in its judgment which lasted for over four hours held that the petitioner failed to prove a prima facie case against the respondent, stressing that Odeh failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt on the issue of criminal allegations of ballot box snatching.
The tribunal held, “The allegation of ballot box snatching is criminal in nature and those accused of committing this act were not even called as witness for fair hearing. The paragraphs in the petition alleging this should have been expunged by the petitioner.”
The tribunal also held that the petitioner’s witness statement on oath was inadmissible because it was based on hearsay which in law is not admissible, maintaining that the petitioner rested his case on that of the respondent.
“Our submission is that the petitioner failed woefully to prove the allegation of substantial non compliance to the Electoral Act and as such, is not entitled to any of the reliefs pleaded. The petition is hereby dismissed”, the tribunal held.

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