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Onjeh versus Mark: Appeal Court reserves judgment


Makurdi – The Court of Appeal in Makurdi has reserved judgment in the appeal challenging the election of Sen. David Mark, as winner of Benue South Senatorial District election.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr Daniel Onjeh, challenged the decision of the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal which upheld the election.

Onjeh had dragged Mark to the tribunal and joined PDP and INEC over the outcome of March 28 poll, which he claimed was marred by electoral malpractices.

However, the tribunal in its judgment on Oct. 7, dismissed the petition for want of evidence and upheld the election of Mark, a former Senate President.

Dissatisfied with the verdict of the tribunal, Onjeh filed a notice of appeal on 12 grounds, contending that the tribunal did not make its findings on all the vital issues.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

Onjeh further said that the tribunal erred by failing to consider his final written address and determine the relevant arguments proffered in it.

The petitioner/appellant insisted that the tribunal had miscarried justice by deciding against the evidence placed before it.

He, therefore, urged the appellate court to invoke the provision of Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act and review the evidence in his petition so as to overturn the decision of the lower court.

When the appeal came up for adoption of briefs, Onjeh’s Counsel, Mr Adetunji Oso, urged the court to allow his appeal and set aside the decision of the lower tribunal.

Oso argued that the court erred when it held that documents tendered by his client were mere documentary hearsay.

But Mark, PDP and INEC in adopting their briefs, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.

According to Mark’s lead counsel, Mr Kenneth Ikonne, ‘where figures or scores of an election are challenged, such evidence must come from officers at the election.

At the close of adoption of briefs by all parties, the Presiding Judge of the three member Special Appeal panel, Justice Mensen Dongbam, adjourned the matter for judgment at a date to be communicated to parties. (NAN)

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