The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party said it had decided to challenge the result of votes obtained by the All Progressives Congress at the governorship election.
In a statement, the state Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, said on Saturday that the party’s team of lawyers would be challenging the votes at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi.
This, it said, followed a decision of the leadership of the PDP after it received field reports indicating numerous irregularities perpetrated by the APC during the poll.
“From the reports, the PDP leaders met and concluded that given the party’s acceptance across the state, its candidate, Governor Samuel Ortom, would certainly have posted a wider margin of votes against his closest rival, if it were not for the irregularities.
“The party also notes that the results of the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and state assembly elections indicated clearly that the PDP was the preferred choice of the people of the state.
“PDP re-emphasises its victory at the presidential election in the state, all the three senators, six out of 11 House of Representatives members, while the APC won just one, with other political parties winning three and one seat still declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
“The PDP has nothing to worry about the case filed by the APC governorship candidate who has the constitutional right to his action since all our victories in the state were genuine,” said Iortyom
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the APC, Mr Emmanuel Jime, and his party on Friday filed a petition to challenge the victory of Mr Samuel Ortom of the PDP.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had, after the supplementary election held on March 23, 2019 declared Ortom as the winner of the governorship poll.
Jime on Friday in company with five Senior Advocates of Nigeria and over 50 other lawyers filed the petition at the tribunal’s headquarters, High Court 6 in Makurdi.
Leading the Jime legal team is Yusuf Ali (SAN).
The petitioner claimed Ortom was not duly elected going by the lawful votes cast and that the election did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
Jime also expressed the hope that he would come out victorious at the tribunal, given the huge evidence obtained from the inspection of electoral materials from INEC and other dependable witnesses.
In a statement, the Deputy Director, Jime Campaign Organisation, Kula Tersoo, quoted his principal as saying, “You will recall that after INEC had announced Mr Ortom of the PDP as winner of the last election in the face of very glaring manipulation and primitive rigging, I promised my supporters, party faithful and the good people of the state who earnestly yearned for a true change that I could not afford to keep mute for their goodwill to be tampered with.
“The exercise I have done here today is to mark the beginning of the journey. The heap of evidence we have gathered is overwhelming. Benue must be redeemed.”
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