By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal presided over by Justice Ory Zik-Ikeorha has dismissed the petition filed by Mr. Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC, challenging the victory of Senator Abba Moro of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Benue South District Senatorial election.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had returned Senator Moro as winner of the senatorial election held on February 25th, 2023.
Dissatisfied with the declaration, Mr. Onjeh and the APC approached the tribunal alleging that Senator Moro did not win the election by the majority of lawful votes cast alleging also that the election was invalid for reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Delivering judgment in the matter, Sunday in Makurdi, Justice Zik-Ikeorha in a unanimous decision by the three-member panel held that “the quality of witnesses called by the petitioners was not enough to strengthen the petition or sustain it.”
While stating that the pleadings did not constitute evidence, Justice Zik-Ikeorha further held that “the evidence adduced by the petitioners was weak and porous.”
She accordingly dismissed the petition and upheld the return of Senator Moro as the lawmaker representing Benue South Senatorial District.
Reacting, Mr. Onjeh’s counsel, Mr. Tunde Oso, said he would consult with this client and decide on the next move.
On his part, Senator Moro’s Counsel, Mr. Rafael Adakole said the tribunal simply affirmed the voice of the majority in the Benue South District by doing justice to the matter.