Thursday, March 24, 2016 5:42 pm
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi, on Thursday granted, Daniel Onjeh’s, motion exparte for substituted service on Sen. David Mark, after the five term senator could not be reached.
Onjeh and Mark contested the Feb. 20 Benue South Senatorial District legislative rerun election under the All progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.
Onjeh had filed a petition urging tribunal to declare him as the winner of the poll.
Joined in the petition as co-respondent were INEC and PDP.
INEC declared Mark as the winner of the poll with a margin of barely more than 12,000 votes.
Onjeh insisted that “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 him, evidence on the face of the certified true copy of result declaration sheets obtained from INEC showed irregularities and non-compliance with Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The tribunal gave 21 days to the respondents to reply to the petition upon service, following which Onjeh and APC would reply within seven days after which sitting would commence.
Onjeh informed 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.
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 was the second time Onjeh dragged Mark to the tribunal.
The first was after the 2015 general election which led to the nullification of Mark’s election that gave rise to the Feb. 20 legislative rerun election.