APPEAL COURT SACKS DAVID MARK
The Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division has voided the election of the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark.
The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh election in the Benue South Senatorial District within 90 days.
Mark’s victory, at the March 28, 2015 senatorial election, had been challenged by Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who petitioned the Benue State Legislative Houses Elections Tribunal, asking for the cancellation of the election and an order to conduct fresh election in the district.
The Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu-led panel, on October 7, 2015, dismissed Onjeh’s petition on the grounds that evidence tendered before the tribunal was documentary hearsay.
In a unanimous judgement read, yesterday, by Justice Peter Ige, the appellate court dismissed the judgement of the tribunal and upheld the plea of the appellant that Mark’s election failed substantially to meet the provisions of paragraphs 39 and 40 of INEC guidelines and Sections 73and 74 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The panel of jurists also questioned the failure of the trial court to admit the evidence tendered by the appellant to canvass his case.