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The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi the Benue State capital has thrown out the petition filed against Senator Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev representing Benue North West Senatorial District by his predecessor Senator George Akume.
In the February 23rd Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had returned Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev of the People’s Democratic Party who had polled 157, 726 votes against George Akume’s 115, 000 votes as winner.
But the former Benue State Governor approached the tribunal urging the court to upturn Jev’s victory and declare him as the substantive winner on the grounds that Senator Orker Jev was not duly elected by popular votes and that the election was marred by irregularities and did not conform to the provisions of the Electoral Act 1999 as amended.
In his judgment, tribunal chairman Justice PO Odudu maintained that the petition challenging the Senatorial election did not cover less than 404 polling units but the petitioner has brought less than 20 witnesses.
According to Justice Odudu, ‘the petitioner is required to provide evidence polling unit by polling unit, ward by ward. Even were all their 20 witnesses evidence were to be proven, it would just be like a drop of water in an ocean and therefore of no consequence to the overall result.’
The tribunal chairman therefore dismissed the petition and awarded one hundred thousand naira damages each to the 1st and 2nd respondents (Senator Orker Jev and INEC who were joined in the petition) to be paid by the petitioner.