Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Makurdi Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment of National/State Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of Abba Moro as Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District.
Presiding Judge of the court Honourable Justice Jumai Sankey (JCA) while delivering the lead judgment, dismissed the appeal of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Stephen Lawani, describing it as an academic exercise and consequently awarded the sum of N200,000 against the appellants.
In another development, the Appeal Court has reserved for judgment the appeal filed by Senator George Akume of the APC against the decision of a National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Makurdi, which upheld the return of Senator Emmanuel Orker Jev of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as Benue North West Senator.
Isiaka Dikko, SAN, who moved the appeal on behalf of his clients, is praying the court to set aside the decision of the Tribunal, to allow the appeal and to declare Akume as winner of the election.
According to Dikko, in a chat with reporters, the lower court erred by failing to remove unlawful votes that gave Senator Jev victory at the 9th February, 2019 National Assembly election.
Dikko expressed the assurance that if the unlawful votes are removed from the total votes cast at the election, his client (Akume) would have emerged winner of the election.
However, Senator Jev’s counsel Chief Edward Ashiekaa, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit, stating that the records of the lower court were transmitted in disobedience to the enabling act.
Ashiakaa has also on behalf of his client filed a cross appeal against “certain aspects” of the decision of the Tribunal.
However, Justice Sankey (JCA), after taking arguments from counsel, reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to parties.