Senator David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged the Benue State National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, to dismiss the petition filed by the defeated All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Daniel Onjeh, challenging his victory at the last Benue South senatorial rerun election on the ground that it was filed out of time.
Onjeh had approached the tribunal seeking a nullification of the outcome of the February 20th. rerun election on the ground that it was marred by irregularities.
At the inaugural sitting of the Tribunal yesterday, Senator Mark through his Counsel, Mr. Ken Ikonne, in a motion contended that the petition was belated and incompetent.
According to him, the petition was filed on March 13th., 2016, 22 days after the declaration of the result of the election contrary to the provisions of the law which prescribed 21 days grace for all petitions to be filed.
He maintained that the position of the law on the matter was clear and unambiguous, hence apparent that the suit was incompetent and consequently ‘dead on arrival.’
He therefore questioned the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to entertain the suit.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdullahi Sanya adjourned sitting to June 8th. 2016 for the commencement of the pre-hearing session in order to allow the parties file and sort out their various interlocutory injunctions before the pre-trial session.