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Mark Floors Onjeh at Appeal Court


The Senator representing Benue South in the Upper Chamber, David Mark
has again won at the Appeal Court sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State
Capital, against his opponent, Daniel Onjeh.
The court, Friday, dismissed the petition of All Progressives Party
Senatorial candidate for the Benue South senatorial rerun election,
Comrade Onjeh and re-affirmed the election of Senator Mark.
Earlier, on June 30, 2016, the re-run election petition Tribunal
sitting in Makurdi had dismissed Onjeh’s petition on the
grounds that the petition was filed out of the stipulated 21 days as
enshrined in the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
In her ruling, Justice Chinyere Anulube had declared that the petition
was “defective and incurably bad” explaining that “the Tribunal lacked
the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.”
Unsatisfied with ruling Onjeh had taken his petition before the Court of Appeal, hoping to have an upturn.
However on Friday, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, who led a panel of two
other Judges, while delivering judgment, upheld the decision of the lower court, describing the petition as incompetent and devoid of merit.
Justice Omoleye said that election petition should be filed within 21
days from the declaration of the election result.
Like the lower court Judge observed, she noted that the appellant filed his petition on the 22nd day after the declaration of the election result and therefore filed out of time by law.
“The appellant’s petition was filed on the 22nd day of the declaration
of result and therefore filed out of time by law. It therefore
rendered the election petition incompetent and impotent,” she said and
declared that David Mark is rightful and lawful winner of the
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to David Mark, Ken Ikonne,
acknowledged the decision of the appellate court which gave victory to
his client.
He said the judgment has brought the case to an end and urged Senator
Mark to settle down and concentrate on the business of the Senate.
On his part, counsel to the defeated APC candidate, Sunday Ayegba
expressed sadness at the outcome of the petition. He said, “We are not
happy with the decision of the court but there is nothing we can do
about it.”

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