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Ortom asks tribunal to dismiss Jime’s petition

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has prayed the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Makurdi to dismiss the petition filed by Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging his victory in the March 9 and 23, 2019 gubernatorial polls in the state on the ground that it was allegedly fraught with “fundamental errors”.

Ortom’s counsel, Sebastian Hon (SAN), made the plea yesterday during the adoption of final addresses by parties in the suit.

Urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost, “if not punitive”, the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) governor stressed that it was an application, which ought not to have been filed.

His words, “The petition has been so bedevilled and riddled with fundamental errors that no reasonable tribunal will grant any relief to it.

“It is self-contradictory in many respects in terms of the figures and scores of the candidates; it is also contradictory to the evidence led.”

But Jime’s lawyer, Yusuf Ali (SAN), said they would adopt their addresses and prayed the panel to uphold the petition and nullify Ortom’s election and declare his client and his party winners of the exercise.

“The second respondent’s senior counsel misconstrued the tables and the figures in the final written address. He seems to have forgotten that the contention in the petition is the incorrect figures recorded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in forms EC8A that the petitioners cannot rely on.

“They were unlawful votes not credited to any of the parties. The tribunal has the powers under the law to nullify such votes,” he said.

The tribunal chairman, Justice Henry Olusiyi, consequently deferred judgement, promising to communicate the date of ruling to parties in due course.


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