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Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2020

Benue, Adamawa guber: S/Court affirms Govs Ortom, Fintri’s election

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Supreme Court, has affirmed Ahmadu Fintri and Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the validly elected governors of Adamawa and Benue states respectively.
Affirming the election of Samuel Ortom of Benue state, the apex ruling read by Justice Silvester Ngwuta, dismissed the appeal that was instituted by the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state, Emmanuel Jime.
The Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour led panel maintained it found no reason to disturb the concurrent decisions of both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal that returned Ortom as the valid winner of the gubernatorial contest that held on March 9, 2019.
“I have agreed with the submissions of the respondents that the concurrent judgments of the Tribunal and Court of Appeal should not be disturbed.” Justice Ngwuta held.
On Adamawa governorship appeal, the apex court read by Justice Mohammad Dattijo held that the APC and its candidate, Jibrilla Bindow, failed to prove their allegation that Fintri emerged through over-voting.
The seven-man panel of justices held that APC and Bindow did not prove that number of votes from the disputed 385 polling units, exceeded the total number of voters that were accredited with both the Smart Card Reader, the Voters Register and the Form EC8A.
Earlier, Emmanuel Jime prayed the apex court to set aside, the decisions of the tribunal and Court of Appeal which upheld the election of Ortom as duly elected Governor of Benue state.
The appellant, through his counsel, Yusuf Ali, submitted that the election that declared the governor winner was marred by malpractices, over voting and non compliance with the electoral laws.
He insisted that the difference between the number of accredited voters recorded by the smart card reader machines used for the election and the number of votes recorded rendered the election invalid.
Arguing further, he he reminded the court that dismissing the appeal would imply that funds spent on putting the card reader system in place were in vain.
“There must be an agreement between the number of accredited voters and the total votes,” the counsel argued.

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