The Appeal Court sitting in Makurdi on Friday dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Party candidate for the Benue South Senatorial District rerun, Mr. Daniel Onjeh and re-affirmed the election of Senator David Mark.
Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, who led a panel of two other judges, described the petition as incompetent and devoid of merit.
She struck out the petition on the grounds that it was filed out of time.
While noting that election petition should be filed within 21 days from the declaration of the election result, Justice Omoleye said that the appellant filed his petition on the 22nd day after the declaration of the election result and therefore filed out of time by law.
“The appellant’s petition was filed on the 22nd day of the declaration of result and therefore filed out of time by law. It therefore rendered the election petition incompetent and impotent,” she said.
Counsel to David Mark, Mr. Ken Ikonne, hailed the judgement and urged Mark to concentrate on his duty as the Senate.
But counsel to the APC candidate, Sunday Ayegba, expressed sadness over the judgement.
He said, “We are not happy with the decision of the court but there is nothing we can do about it.”
It will be recalled that on June 30, 2016, the rerun election petition tribunal sitting in Makurdi dismissed Daniel Onjeh’s petition against Mark on the grounds that the petition was filed out of the stipulated 21 days as enshrined in the constitution.
In her ruling, Justice Chinyere Anulube had declared that the petition was “defective and incurably bad.”
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