Former Senate President, Senator David Mark has asked the Election Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, to dismiss the petition brought against his election by the defeated candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daniel Onjeh at the March 28, 2015 Senatorial Elections.
Advancing reasons on why the petition should be dismissed, counsel to Senator Mark, Mr. Ken Ikkone said the petitioner failed woefully to make out any case against the election of his client.
Ikonne further told the tribunal that the petitioner failed to prove that the election was not properly conducted.
He averred that the burden of proof squarely dwells on the petitioner ’failing which, as in this case, has proved fatal to the petitioner.’
Ikonne who cited several authorities in support of his case, said it is trite in law that “he who alleges must prove”.
Ikonne who said most of the allegations brought by the petition are criminal in nature, said the petitioner failed to further prove those allegations, stressing that ‘those allegations cannot be severed from the petition as the petitioner was trying to do now, amounting to an amendment of the petition which the petitioner cannot do at this point’, citing the electoral act.
He pointedly told the tribunal that the petitioner merely dumped some documents on the tribunal without demonstrating them in the open court, adding that ‘the tribunal was forbidden by the law from perusing in the recess of their chambers.’
He finally submitted that the court should dismiss the petition and award substantial cost to his client.
Counsel to PDP, Mr. Chris Alechenu and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Dr. Garba Tetingi SAN also aligned with Ikonne’s submission.
On his part, counsel to the APC candidate, Mr. Daniel Onjeh Adetunji Osho, insisted that his client has proved his case