Appeal Court upholds David Mark’s election

Appeal Court upholds David Mark’s election
July 22 20:56 2016

Immediate past Senate President, David Mark has once again had his election as
the senator representing Benue
South Senatorial District upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Mark
defeated the candidate of the All
Progressives Congress, Daniel
Onjeh, in the February 20 re-run.

He had also won the March 28, 2015
senatorial election but was sacked
by the court which ordered the re
run. Mr. Onjeh also challenged
the result of the re run.

In upholding Mark’s election
on Friday, the three-member
panel of judges led by Justice
Obande Ogbuinya, said Mr.
Onjeh’s petition lacked merit, was
incompetent and status barred
and therefore dismissed it.

The panel, which included Oyebisi
Omoleye and Ifeoma Jombo, were
unanimous in their decision.

Ken Ikonne, counsel to Mr. Mark,
and the counsels representing the
Independent National Electoral
Commission and the PDP, Johnson
Usman and Chris Alechenu,
respectively, had told the court
that section 285 (5) of the 1999
constitution was clear on the fact
the day of declaration of an
election result should be included
in the days allowed for the filing
of a petition before a court.

They asked the court to dismiss
the appeal and award cost against
Onjeh.

Onjeh had approached the
court after the Benue State
Election Tribunal struck out his
petition for lack of merit and also
for filing it behind the stipulated
time.

In the petition, the APC candidate alleged
irregularities in the election.

In his reaction to Friday’s judgement  Mark said the
journey to victory was tortuous but that he
was glad that all avenues were exhausted to
affirm it.

“I’m glad that the final verdict of the appeal
court vindicates me and truly reaffirmed my
victory freely given to me by the people of
Benue South Senatorial zone,” he said in a
statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh.

“I’m happy that the Judiciary stood on the side
of justice and respected the wishes of Benue
South people,” he said.

Mark also said he had forgiven his
opponent  and all those who
conspired against him during the election.

“For me, I have forgiven all those
especially some of my close friends who
conspired against me. For to err is human, to
forgive is divine. I will continue to serve my
people honestly and diligently. Whatever
makes for the good of my people will always
be my guide.

“I whole heartedly appreciate the support and
solidarity of Idoma nation towards me. In
spite of the unwarranted provocation and
intimidation especially during the rerun
election, you came out in large numbers to
vote for me. I’m truly grateful,” he added.