Appeal Court sacks Benue Dep. Speaker, orders fresh election

•As Akume loses at Appeal Court

The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has sacked the Deputy Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Christopher Adaji, who is representing Ohimini constituency.

In the judgment delivered by Justice I.G. Mbaba, the appellate court ordered that fresh election be held in two polling units in Ohimini state constituency.

The State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh election in the affected two polling units.

Justice Mbaba dismissed the two appeals filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and its candidate, saying: “I find no merit in this appeal.”

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The judge issued an order directing INEC to conduct fresh election in the two polling units within 90 days from the day of the judgment (Friday) and awarded the cost of N200,000 only in each of the appeals against the appellants (PDP and Adaji).

Also, the appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by the  Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, against the decision of the lower court, which upheld the return of Emmanuel Orker-Jev as Benue North-West Senator.

Justice O.A. Otisi agreed in his judgment that the evidence of the appellant’s witnesses does not show how the alleged non-compliance affected the outcome of the Benue North West Senatorial District election on 23rd February, 2019

The judge also agreed with the position of the counsel for Senator Jev that the non use of smart card reader machine cannot render an election invalid.

Justice Otisi dismissed the appeal for want of merit and awarded the cost of N300,000 against the appellants.

Meanwhile, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has congratulated the Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District, Emmanuel OrkerJev on his victory at the Court of Appeal.

Governor Ortom in a congratulatory message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, TerverAkase, said that the judgment of the appellate court confirmed the popular will of the people of Benue North West in the 2019 election.

The judge also agreed with the position of learned council to Senator Jev that the law is settled that non use of smart card reader machine cannot render an election invalid.

On ground two of Akume’s petition, which forms the basis for the appeal, the appellate court agreed that tribunal was right to have struck out the ground, stressing that  if the said ground two was not struck out the petition would still not have succeeded.

Honourable Jsutice Otisi, therefore, dismissed the appeal for want of merit and awards the cost of N300, 000. 000) against the appellants.

Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has congratulated the Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District, Emmanuel Orker Jev on his victory at the Court of Appeal.

Ortom in a congratulatory message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom said that the judgment of the appellate court had confirmed the popular decision of the people of Benue North West during the 2019 election.

Ortom urged Senator Jev to justify the confidence Benue voters have in them with quality representation at the National and State Assemblies.

 

Nigerian Tribune

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