Appeal Court Sacks David Mark From Senate
• Orders Fresh Election In 90 Days
• I Will Win ‘Again’, Says Mark
THE Court of Appeal in Makurdi, Benue State, yesterday, nullified the election of former Senate President and Senator representing Benue South District, David Mark.
Comrade Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had dragged Mark to the Elections Tribunal, citing irregularities and none compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, and seeking cancellation of results in seven of nine local government areas.
Delivering judgment, Justice Peter Ige declared that Mark’s election was not in compliance with the Act and set aside the judgment of the tribunal, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the affected areas within 90 days.
The judge averred that the tribunal erred in not making any findings in the evidence of PW 17 that bothered on the issue of collating of results, a day after Mark had been declared winner of the March 28 election.
Citing several legal authorities submitted by counsel to the appellant, Justice Ige said the appellant proved his case beyond reasonable doubt, that as at the time the respondent was declared winner, results from seven local government areas were still being awaited.
He said none of the 10 witnesses of the respondent could controvert the arguments of the appellant that the result of the election was not announced before the collation of all results, especially from the said local governments.
Reacting to the verdict, Mark urged his supporters not to be deterred but stand strong, as countdown to the re-run begins.
In a statement, signed by his media assistant, Paul Mumeh, Mark said: “Whatever the situation may be, one thing I know is that my people are solidly behind me. They also appreciate the fact that I have done more than enough to lift the Idoma nation to a position of eminence in the contemporary political history of Nigeria…I won the election clean and clear. If we go back to the polls 100 times, I will still win convincingly.”