Benue APC, PDP vow to win at election tribunal as Jime, APC file petition to challenge Ortom’s victory
The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Benue State in the just concluded general elections, Mr Emmanuel Jime and his party has finally filed a petition to challenge the victory of Mr Samuel Ortom and his party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Jime who was in the company late of five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) led by Yusuf Ali and other 50 lawyers late Friday filed the petition at the tribunal’s headquarters, High Court 6, opposite Immigration office, Old GRA, Makurdi.
Jime in the petition is seeking that the 2nd Respondent (Samuel Ioraer Ortom) was not duly elected by lawful votes cast and that the election of the 2nd Respondent was invalid by reason of noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
Jime who spoke through his campaign deputy director, Kula Tersoo expressed hope that he would come out victorious at the tribunal, given the huge cache of evidence and proof lifted from the inspection of electoral materials from INEC and other dependable witnesses.
According to the statement, “You will recall that after INEC had announced Mr Ortom of the PDP as winner of the last elections in the face of very glaring manipulation and primitive rigging, I promised my supporters, party faithfuls and the good people of the state who earnestly yearned for a true change that I shall not afford to keep mute for their goodwill to be tampered with.
“The heap of evidence we have gathered are overwhelming and indeed tear-jerking to contemplate or thinker with ignoring for whatsoever reason. Benue must be redeemed”.
But in a swift response, Benue State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it has decided to challenge the result of votes obtained by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the 2019 Governorship Election.
In a statement issued by the state party’s publicity secretary, Bemgba Iortyom and made available to our correspondent in Saturday noted that the party’s team of lawyers would be challenging those votes at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi following a decision of the leadership of the party after it received field reports indicating numerous irregularities perpetrated by APC during the polls.
Part of the statement read, “From the reports, PDP leaders met and have concluded that given the party’s acceptance across the state, its candidate, Gov. Samuel Ortom, would certainly have posted a wider margin of votes against his closest rival, if it were not for the irregularities.
“The party also notes that the results of the Presidential, National, Governorship and State Assembly elections indicated clearly that PDP is the preferred choice of the people of the state.
“PDP re-emphasises its victory at the presidential election in the state, all the three Senators, six out of eleven House of Representatives members, while APC won just one, with other political parties winning three and one seat still declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We also won 23 out of 30 State Assembly seats leaving APC and other parties to share the remaining tiny minority.
“The party further stresses that all those arrested for one election malpractice or another during the last General Elections, including possession of large numbers of PVCs, weapons and large amounts of money across the state, were APC members.
“Our cross petition will give us the opportunity to provide proof that Gov. Ortom’s votes were far more than those announced by INEC while his APC opponent had far less than what was declared for him.
“PDP has nothing to worry about the case filed by the APC Governorship Candidate who has the constitutional right to his action since all our victories in the state were genuine and the product of the popular support and mandate of the people.