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Jime v Ortom: Tribunal reserves judgment

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has reserved judgment within the petition by Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the Independent Nationwide Electoral Commission (INEC) for returning Samuel Ortom as winner of the 2019 governorship election.

When the petition got here up for adoption of ultimate written handle yesterday, the lead counsel to Ortom, Sabastine Hon SAN, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial value, saying it ought to not have been filed.

Hon stated the petition is “bedevilled and riddled with fundamental errors and that no reasonable tribunal will grant any relief to it. It is self- contradictory in many respects in terms of the figures and scores of the candidates; it is also contradictory to the evidence led.”

It was his rivalry that Jime, who contested the 2019 Benue governorship election, is totally different from the one which instituted the petition “because of variation in the scores at the poll and those complained of in the petition. As a matter of fact, in paragraph 5.06, page 37 of their final written address, the petitioners admit that there were errors in the petition. And in reproducing exhibit P2 (summary of result form), there are over 50 errors.”

Hon stated the regulation is settled {that a} mistake that isn’t corrected is deadly.

Learn Additionally: Ortom’s second term will be better, says Speaker

Transferring the tribunal to dismiss the petition, Offiong Offiong SAN, who’s main a crew of attorneys for INEC, submitted that opposite to argument by Jime’s counsel that solely minimal proof quite than stability of likelihood is required, the petitioners should show their case on the stability of likelihood and never on minimal show. He cited the authority of Ucha Vs Elechi 2012 13NWLR Half 330 at Web page 359.

Chief Chris Uche SAN, who appeared for the PDP, whereas urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition, stated it was based upon false impression of well-established rules of electoral jurisprudence.

Nevertheless, Yusuf Ali SAN, who appeared for Jime and APC, prayed the tribunal to uphold the petition, nullify the election of Ortom and declare Jime and APC as the rightful individuals to be given the Certificates of Return as winner of the 2019 Benue governorship election.

He advised the tribunal that Ortom’s attorneys misconstrued the tables and figures within the petitioners’ last written handle.

“He (Hon SAN) seems to have forgotten that the contention in the petition is the incorrect figures recorded by INEC in Forms EC8A and the petitioners cannot rely on same. Where the tribunal finds that unlawful votes are credited to any of the parties, the tribunal has the powers under the law to nullify such votes,” Ali stated.

After hearing the attorneys, the Chairman of the tribunal, Honourable Justice Henry Olusiyi, held that judgment within the petition is reserved to a date that shall be communicated to the events.


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