The Court of Appeal Makurdi Judicial Division has upheld the decision of the National/State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Emmanuel Orker-Jev as Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial district.
In a lead judgement delivered on Friday by Honourable Justice O. A. Otisi, the appelate court court held that there was no merit in the appeal filed by former Governor of Benue State, George Akume.
The learned jurist agreed with the Tribunal that the evidence of the appellant’s witnesses does not show how the alleged non-compliance has affected the outcome of the 23rd February, 2019 Benue North West Senatorial District election.
Honourable Justice Otisi also agreed with the position of learned counsel to Senator Jev that the law has been settled that non use of Smart Card Reader machine cannot render an election invalid.
On ground two of Akume’s petition, which forms the basis of the appeal, the Appellate Court agreed that the Tribunal was right to have struck out the ground stressing that even if the said ground two was not struck out the petition would still not have succeeded.
Honourable Justice Otisi, therefore, dismissed the appeal for want of merit and awarded the cost of Three Hundred thousand Naira Only (N300, 000. 000) against the appellants.
Chief Edward Ashiekaa SAN, who appeared for Senator Jev and PDP in a chat with newsmen after the judgement said that the decision of the court vindicated the action of INEC and the Tribunal.
“This is the final bus stop in this matter. And I am happy both the Tribunal and the Appeal Court have confirmed that the people of Benue North West voted Orker Jev to be their voice in the Senate.
“The judiciary, by the decision, has also shown that it is standing firm in ensuring the laws of the land and due process is entrenched.”
On his part, counsel to the appellants, Isiaka Dikko SAN, said the court has spoken and there is nothing more that anyone can do.