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Ortom, Jime know fate tomorrow as tribunal delivers judgment

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Samuel Ortom. Photo: TWITTER/BENUESTATE

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, presided over by Justice Henry Olusiyi, will tomorrow deliver judgment in the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Emmanuel Jime.

Jime is challenging the return of Governor Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of March 9, 2019 and March 23, 2019 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Jime in the petition marked EPT/BN/GOV/01/2019, is alleging the election was marred with irregularities, over-voting and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

He prayed the court to declare him winner on the ground that he scored majority of lawful votes cast at the poll, with a margin of 2,224 votes.

But, the Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Henry Olusiyi adjourned the matter for judgment, after counsel to the respective parties adopted their final written addresses.

In their final written addresses, Ortom’s counsel, who is the second respondent in the matter, Chief Sabastian Hon (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss Jime’s petition and award substantial cost to the petitioners because, according to him, it was riddled with fundamental errors and contradicted the evidence tendered.

Counsel to the first respondent, INEC, Offiong Offiong (SAN), held the burden of proof was on the petitioner and that the standard of proof was on the balance of probabilities and not minimal proof, adding that the petitioners had failed to prove their case as required by law.

Counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche, (SAN), aligned himself with the counsel to Ortom and INEC, adding that the petition was lacking in merit, as it suffered acute evidential deficiency both in quality and quantity.

In his submission, counsel to the petitioner, Yusuf Ali (SAN) argued that votes scored by Ortom were unlawful.


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