The election that brought in Senator David Mark was upheld yesterday after The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi dismissed the petition filed by Daniel Onjeh the All Progressives Congress candidate in the Benue South senatorial election on the grounds that it was filed out of time.
The APC candidate had challenged the victory of Senator Mark in the February 20, 2016 rerun election citing electoral malpractices and irregularities in the conduct of the poll.
Daniel Onjeh through his counsel, Adetunji Oso had asked the Tribunal to hear the suit on its merits insisting that the matter was properly brought before the Tribunal.
However, Senator Mark, through his counsel, Mr. Ken Ikonne had challenged the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to entertain the matter on the grounds that it was incompetent and statute barred. Mark had contended that, having been declared winner of the election on February 21, 2016 the petitioner had 21 days from the day of the declaration of the result to file his petition which he failed to do.
He argued that the petition which was filed on March 13 2016, was outside the 21 days allowed by law for such matters to be generated before a tribunal and in total variance with the provisions of Section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.