<<< By Saa’ Aondo Adzegeh >>>
Lawyers of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, today submitted that the petition which Prince Terhemen Tarzoor filed be dismissed.
They submitted that the Benue State Governorship Election Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
Governor Ortom’s lawyer, Niyi Akintola, and Sebastian Hon, APC counsel, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, quoting several Supreme Court judgments stated that the petition was not signed by any known persons known to law thus rending it invalid.
Hon added that a candidate in an election cannot be separated from the party, pointing out that where such happens as in the case of Prince Tarzoor, such a person cannot petition the tribunal.
INEC counsel, Professor Tony Ijohor, stated that the commission was not compelled by law to witness or monitor any party’s primaries.
Quoting Section 52, sub-section 2, of the Electoral Act, Ijohor said such powers were discretionary.
According to him, Section 86, sub-section 2, merely requires that where INEC was not satisfied, it could seek clarification from the party.
Professor Ijohor submitted that INEC has no problem with the process through which Governor Ortom emerged as APC Governorship candidate.
At the time of filing the report the petitioners’ lawyers were responding to the submissions.
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