The election victory of former senate president, David Mark, in the March 28 national assembly elections has been upheld by the election petition tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue state.
Mark’s victory was being challenged by David Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress.
The Tribunal which was led by Justice Mosumola Dipeolu passed an unanimous judgment that lasted for two and a half hours on Tuesday, dismissing Onjeh’s petition. The court held that Onjeh failed to prove his case of alleged rigging, multiple tumb printing, over stuffing of ballots, allocation of votes, intimidation, harassment and inducement of voters among others.
The tribunal also discountenanced the evidence of PW 18 (Expert witness) called by Onjeh because the witness under cross examination accepted that there was error in his data analysis.
Sen Mark is currently the longest serving senator in Nigeria. He was elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. He served as President of the Senate for an uninterrupted 8 years. All his previous victories have also been challenged at the tribunal but none has been enough to shake Mark’s longevity.
In a reaction to the verdict, Mark thanked the judiciary for standing for the truth and reaffirming the mandate freely given to him by the people of Benue South Senatorial district.
He therefore promised to do everything that is constitutionally right to bring dividend of democracy to the door steps of his constituents and beyond.