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Court Of Appeal Upholds David Mark’s Election Victory

Nigeria's Senate President David Mark

By Mustapha Abdul Salaam

BENUE, MAKURDI (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has upheld the re-election of former Senate President David Mark.

Justice Obande Ogunya while delivering the leading judgment Friday held that the State Election Petition Tribunal’s decision to strike out the petition of Senator Mark’s opponent and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Daniel Ojeh was in order.

Justice Ogunya ruled that the lower tribunal was right to have declared Onjeh’s petition as “statute barred”.

While noting that the Interpretation Act could not be applied in the petition due to sui generis nature of election matters, the Chairman of the Appeal panel in his unanimous ruling with other jurists, including Justices Oyebisi Omoleye Cecilia Jumbo, held that the 21 days allocated to a petitioner to file his case started from the date result is announced.

It would be recalled Justice Abdullahi Sanya-led lower Tribunal, over a month ago dismissed the APC flag bearer’s petition for being statue barred – the petition being filed out of the designated number of days.

Ojeh however won in his appeal last year, in his first petition challenging March 28 2015 election of Mark as the Senator representing Benue North Senatorial District. This necessitated the re-run which was again won by the two-time Senate President.

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