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Election Tribunal: Appeal Court Reserves Judgment In Akume’s Suit Against Orker-Jev

October 29, 2019

Orker-Jev had defeated Akume in the February 23 Benue North-West Senatorial District election.



Justice Jumai Sankey of the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, presiding on the case between Senator George Akume of the All Progressives Congress and Senator Emmanuel Yisa Orker-Jev of the Peoples Democratic Party, has reserved ruling on the case.

Orker-Jev had defeated Akume in the February 23 Benue North-West Senatorial District election.

The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, had also thrown out the petition filed by Akume challenging the victory of Orker-Jev.

Refusing to accept defeat, Akume, who is the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, filed an appeal, praying the court to set aside the ruling of the tribunal.

Lead counsel to the appellant, Isiaka Dikko (SAN), on his part submitted that the tribunal erred by failing to remove the unlawful votes in the total votes cast at the polls.

“If those votes were removed, Akume would be declared winner,” he insisted.

Speaking to journalists after the court session, Ashiekaa (SAN), who said that “they were very hopeful that the appeal will be dismissed”, however, pointed out that he had also filed a cross appeal in order to pre-empt a negative judgment against his client even though he knew that by the circumstances of the case, the petitioner stood little chance.

Barrister Tervershima Pusa in his own submission on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who were joined in the petition, said, “The 3rd respondent (INEC) totally agrees with the position of the 1st respondent (Orker-Jev) calling on the court to dismiss the petition.

“INEC urges the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the tribunal.”

Justice Sankey, after hearing the submission of both parties, reserved ruling to a date to be communicated to both parties.

Legal Politics