The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday upheld the election of Governor Samuel Ortom.
The candidate for the All Progressives Congress, Emmanuel Jime had challenged the election of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, on the grounds that the elections were marred by irregularities and not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Jime in his petition further alleged that the Governor was not duly elected by lawful votes, maintaining that he (Jime) scored the highest number of valid votes and as such, should be declared winner of the election or in the alternative, order be made for a fresh election.
But the PDP candidate, Governor Ortom stated that the election was conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, adding that non-substantial compliance did not affect the result of the election.
During the hearing of the petition, Jime called 59 witnesses, Ortom called only one while the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC did not call any witness.
In a nine-hour judgement delivered by Chairman of the Tribunal Justice Henry Olusiyi, he held that the Petitioner’s witness statements were contradictory, unreliable and not credible.
The judge added that their statements were incompetent frowning at their inability to identify documents and link them to the case which amounts to dumping the materials on the tribunal.
Justice Olusiyi also held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegation of over voting, noting voters’ register and not the smart card reader remains the valid method to ascertain the number of registered voters in an elegant.
“Card reader can only be alternative and admissible if the National Assembly amends the Electoral Act to provide for it. Witnesses failed to prove allegation of over voting to warrant the cancellation of votes in polling units.
“We are satisfied that the result sheet presented to us by INEC is a true representation of votes cast in the election.
“We find no merit whatsoever in the petition. We hold that the election of Governor Samuel Ortom by INEC is affirmed,” Justice Olusiyi said in the judgment.
Amosun, 3000 others defect to PDP in Ogun state.
As the 2020 chairmanship election date in Ogun state draws closer, Akeem Amosun, Allied for New Nigeria(ANN) House of Representative candidate for Abeokuta South in the last poll has led over 3000 supporters to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
Speaking while making the formal declaration where he was received by the former House of Representatives member; Hon. Ladi Adebutu and PDP chieftain, Sikurullai Ogundele on Thursday, he said there is the need for unity in order to defeat the APC.
He said: “Our opponents are wicked, therefore, we need to be united. The nature of elections as seen throughout the federation are now being militarized brazenly.
“The forthcoming elections can only be won by landslide, therefore, I urge all parties to stand united and coalesce as one body so that when they come with their thugs from Lagos we shall resist them.
“The APC government in the state lack competence and compassion. They can’t do anything without getting approval from Lagos. Ogun State is not Lagos subsidiary.“We are on a mission to rescue our state from incompetence, lack of compassion of APC government.”
Sowore Finally Released from DSS Custody
Sowore was released hours after the Federal High Court in Abuja had a 24 hour ultimatum to DSS to release both of them who had been in their custody despite their release on bail.
He is, however, expected to appear in court tomorrow for the commencement of trial.
Sowore was received by his lawyer Femi Falana and several of his supporters.
APC primaries annulled and INEC restrained by court.
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, on Thursday nullified the governorship primaries that produced Chief David Lyon as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the Nov. 16 poll in the state.
Delivering judgment, Justice Jane Inyang, held that the primaries were conducted arbitrarily outside the rules of the party.
The suit filed by Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, challenged conduct of the governorship primaries of APC which held on Sept.4.
She held that since the process was conducted in violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines as clearly spelt out for the conduct of governorship primaries, none of the aspirants should be fielded as the party’s candidate.
She therefore restrained the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), from including Lyon as the APC candidate in the governorship election slated for Saturday.
Inyang noted that according to the APC guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 governorship primaries, the results were expected to be declared by the returning officer for the pre-election, Gov. Mai Kala Buni of Yobe and not Sen. Emmanuel Ochega, Secretary of the election Committee.
Inyang also held that the APC violated its own rules in the composition of the election panel when it constituted a one-member committee and not seven members as stipulated in the party rules.
“It has been established by judicial authorities and several judgments that political parties are bound by their own rules, the committee that conducted the primary threw caution to the winds and it is my ruling that the primaries stand nullified.
“The results announced by Sen Emmanuel Ochega is not valid as he is not the returning officer for the election.
“And I make an order restraining INEC from recognising any of the aspirants that participated in the said primaries”,Inyang said.
Lokpobiri had approached the court, to challenge the emergence of Mr David Lyon as the APC governorship candidate in the state.
Listed as respondents in the case are the APC, Lyon and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Lokpobiri had claimed that he won the Sept. 4 governorship primaries conducted by the APC, using the direct primary mode.
The aspirants, who participated in the Sept. 4, APC governorship primaries in the state, included Lokpobiri, Aganaba Steven, Ebitimi Amgbare, Diseye Poweigha, David Lyon and Ongoebi Etebu.
A former Cross River Resident Electoral Commissioner, Briyai Frankland, was disqualified.