Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi yesterday dismissed the petition file by candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2015 Election, Mr. Terhemen Tarzoor against Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state. Delivering the judgement, Chairman of the Tribunal Justice (Mrs.)Elizabeth Karatu said the petition lacked in merit and the tribunal was not in position to grant prayers not sought by the petitioner.
Justice Karatu said though the petitioner Mr. Tarzoor was legible to contest election and return of Governor Samuel Ortom at the tribunal, as opposed to the pleas by both the 1st and 2nd Respondents that he has no local standi, he could not bring enough evidence to prove that the 1st respondent was not qualified.
She however, said though the 1st Respondent might have contested primary election under the platform of the PDP, there was no enough evidence to prove that at the time of his election as candidate of the APC he was still a member of the PDP.
“Evidence before the Tribunal and submissions by counsels to the petitioner and chronicle of events shows that the 1st respondent could not have emerged as candidate as the 2nd respondent did not conduct the primary.
However, it is clear considering evidence before us that the 1st respondent is a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), through a waiver granted him by the party and was also sponsored by the same party and won the election.”
“Unfortunately the Petitioner did not sought for repeat of the election therefore the Tribunal has no power to grant prayers not sought by the petitioner,” she maintained. Justice Karatu expressed disappointment over the shoddy conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
– John Shiaondo, Makurdi