Immediate Past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has affirmed that he has forgiven his opponent, Daniel Onjeh and all those who conspired against him during the February 20, 2016 rerun election for Benue South Senatorial district.
Senator Mark said today in Abuja after the Appeal Court sitting in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, upheld his rerun election. He said the journey was tortuous but he was glad that all avenues were exhausted to affirm his victory.
Justice Obande Ogbuinya of the appeal court in the judgment today upheld the decision of the lower tribunal that the petition of Com. Dan Onjeh lacked merit, incompetent and status barred, hence dismissed.
The three Justices of the Appeal Court, including justices Oyebisi Omoleye and Ifeoma Jombo were unanimous in their decision.
Senator Mark’s counsel, Ken Ikonne and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lawyer Johnson Usman as well as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) counsel, Chris Alechenu had told the Court that section 285 (5) of the 1999 constitution was clear on the fact the day of declaration of an election result should be included in the days allowed for the filing of a petition before a court, urging the appellate court to dismiss the appeal and award cost against the appellate.
Earlier, Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had dragged Senator Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Appeal Court after the tribunal struck out the petition for lack of merit and filing behind the stipulated time. Onjeh had approached the Tribunal alleging irregularities in the election after Mark’s victory at the rerun election.
In a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark said, “I’m glad that the final Verdict of the Appeal court vindicates me and truly reaffirmed my victory freely given to me by the people of Benue South Senatorial zone. I’m happy that the Judiciary stood on the side of justice and respected the wishes of Benue South people.
“For me, I have forgiven all those especially some of my close friends who conspired against me. For to err is human, to forgive is Divine. I will continue to serve my people honestly and diligently. Whatever makes for the good of my people will always be my guide.
“I whole heartedly appreciate the support and solidarity of Idoma nation towards me. In spite of the unwarranted provocation and intimidation especially during the rerun election, you came out in large numbers to vote for me. I’m truly grateful “.
He, therefore, called on all sons and daughters of Benue South to come on board and join hands with him in the task of developing and empowering the people.