The Court of Appeal on Saturday in Makurdi nullified the election of the immediate past Senate President, David Mark, as Benue South Senator, and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh election within 90 days.
The Street Journal recalls that Mr Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress,APC, had challenged Mark’s election before the Benue State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal,where he lost before proceeding to the appellate court.
Delivering judgment, Justice Olabisi Ige, held that it was evident that the lower tribunal did not consider the issues that were raised by Onjeh and that the appellant had proved his case against the respondent ”beyond reasonable doubts.”
“The lower tribunal also failed to make any findings on the appellant’s claim about the day of declaration, which was in contention.
“The appeal is meritorious and so the judgment of the tribunal is, hereby, set aside, while the Independent National Electoral Commission is,hereby, ordered to conduct fresh election,” the court said.
Onjeh had premised his case on the ground that the election which returned Mark as winner of the Senate seat was held in breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended.
The appellant had argued that INEC declared Mark winner of the election while collation was ongoing in most polling units in breach of the Electoral Act.
He had also contended that the lower tribunal erred by departing from judicial precedents, where it decided that the collation of votes after declaration and return on certain votes constituted a case of substantial irregularity.