Appeal court reserves judgment in case against David Mark
The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi the Benue state capital and presided over by Justice Mensen Dongbam has reserved judgment on appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Daniel Onjeh against the decision of the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Senator David Mark.
Onjeh’s counsel, Adetunji Oso while adopting his processes urged the appellate court to allow his appeal and set aside the decision of the lower Tribunal insisting that it erred when it held that documents tendered by his client were mere documentary hearsay.
According to Oso the available documents demonstrated and showed that while collation of result for the Benue South Senatorial Districts election held on 28th March, 2015 was still going on in seven of the nine local government councils of the senatorial districts, when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had already declared Mark winner of the poll.
He urged the court to be bound by its decision as it had earlier on held in the appeal brought before it by Avine Agbom of the APC against Martin Aza of the PDD of Makurdi North District.
However, counsel to Senator Mark, Kenneth Ikonne, averred that where figures or scores of an election are challenged, such evidence must come from officers at the election in line with Section 126 of the Evidence Act, which was not the case in the instant subject of appeal and urged the court to dismiss the appeal with cost and affirmed the election of Mark.
On his part, counsel to the PDP, Chris Alechenu drew the attention of the appellate court to Issue Six of Onjeh’s brief, which he said was deemed abandoned since same was not argued and urged the Court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.
Onjeh, it would be recalled had approached the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital praying for the nullification of the former two times Senate President election, urging it to order for fresh election in the Benue South Senatorial District for alleged irregularities, and noncompliance to Electoral Law 2010 (as amended).