Disquiet over the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, which weekend voided the return of former Senate President David Mark as the winner of the March 28 senatorial election
People of Benue South Senatorial District are disquiet over the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, which weekend voided the return of former Senate President David Mark as the winner of the March 28 senatorial election.
Mark was returned as winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) but the Appellate Court Saturday held that the return was in violation of the provision of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) as proved by his opponent Daniel Onjeh and ordered for fresh election within 90 days.
Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress ( APC )had approached the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi against the return of Mark complaining of irregularities in the election but the Tribunal dismissed his petition.
But not deterred Onjeh approached the appeal court against the decision of the lower court insisting that collation was still going on in seven of the nine Local Government Areas that make up Benue South Senatorial Districts, a day after Mark was declared winner.
The appeal court concorded with Onjeh that none of the respondents (Mark, Peoples Democratic Party, INEC) called witnesses to contradict evidence by Onjeh either orally or through documents proving that there was substantial violation of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines for the poll and therefore voided the declaration that Mark won the contest.
But the declaration has resulted to uneasy calm in Benue South, with many pointing accusing finger that the decision of the appellate court was an underground plan by enemies of the Idoma people to cripple their leader.
Some of them including Igoche Titus, and Ogwuche, expressed shock by the Appellate Panel judgment that nullified the election of the former Senate President, in an election they said they voted massively for him.
According to them, it will be a disaster for Idoma Nation if Senator Mark is not returned to the senate. They insisted that Senator Mark must complete his new term before they can agree on a suitable replacement for him rather than what they described as outside conspiracy to bring down the Idoma people.
But Daniel Onjeh who was excited with the decision described it as a welcome development for democracy saying the judgment of the appeal court represents total freedom for the people of Benue South Senatorial Districts.
– John Shiaondo, Makurdi