Saturday, March 26, 2016

Benue South Rerun: Tribunal Orders Substituted Service On David Mark

David Mark-Daniel Onjeh
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Thursday granted Daniel Onjeh’s motion ex parte for substituted service on former Senate President David Mark.
Onjeh and Mark contested the February 20, 2016 Benue South Senatorial District legislative rerun election on the platforms of All progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively.
The APC candidate had filed a petition urging the tribunal to declare him the authentic winner of the poll.

Joined in the petition as co-respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and PDP.
The INEC had declared Mark the winner of the poll with a margin of barely more than 12,000 votes.
Mr. Onjeh said “the purported margin of win that led to the declaration of Mark as winner of the poll was far less than the number of cancelled and rejected votes”.
He told the tribunal that the cancelled and rejected votes were over 29,000.
According to the APC candidate, evidence on the face of the certified true copy of result declaration sheets obtained from INEC showed irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The tribunal gave 21 days to the respondents to reply to the petition upon service, following which Mr. Onjeh and APC would reply within seven days after which sitting would commence.
Onjeh told the tribunal that the court bailiff made several attempts to effect service on the respondents to no avail.
In his ruling on the motion, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Abdullahi Sanya, ordered that service be effected by substituted means.
Mr. Sanya said that the petitioner could paste the service at the gate of Mark’s compound at No. 20, David Mark Way, Otukpo, Benue State.
This is the second time Mr. Onjeh has dragged Mr. Mark to the tribunal.
The first was after the 2015 general election, which led to the nullification of Mr. Mark’s election and the subsequent re-run on Feb. 20.
(NAN)