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Tarzoor Vs Ortom: Appeal Court reserves judgment

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, November 13, 2015 | 11:19:00 PM

In the appeal filed by defeated Benue governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr Terhemen Tarzoor, challenging the victory of Governor Samuel Ortom of the APC in the April 11th general elections, Justice Mohammed Garba who presided over today’s sitting reserved judgment after listening to the counsels from all parties saying judgement will be communicated to them through the registry of the court on or before Thursday, 19th November, 2015.

When the petition came up for hearing, counsel to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Akintola Adeniyi, SAN who urged the court to dismiss the appeal and allow the cross-appeal filed by the Governor, raised the preliminary objection to the appeal on the grounds that the notice of the appeal was filed without the seal of the council which robbed the court of the jurisdiction to entertain it.

He further stated that contrary to submission of the lawyers representing Mr Tarzoor, the APC held its primaries in Benue State in which Governor Ortom emerged as winner and eventually won the governorship election.

Mr Akintola submitted that by law, there was a difference between qualification of a candidate and nomination of a candidate according to section 182 of the Nigerian constitution. He explained that if a person was not qualified, any person could go to court to challenge him but when it comes to the issue of nomination of candidate of a political party, only a member or candidate of that political party could go to court or tribunal to challenge the process, saying Mr Tarzoor was not a member of the APC.

Counsel to the APC, Mr S. Hon, SAN also urged the appeal court justice to dismiss the appeal on all grounds and allow the cross-appeal filed by Governor Ortom to proceed.

He submitted that the defeated PDP candidate, Mr Tarzoor did not bring any evidence at the lower court to show that he won the election by majority of lawful votes as he abandoned that ground of the petition and has no right by law to raise such fresh issues at the court of appeal.
Mr Hon also urged the appeal court to hold the issue of Governor Ortom’s qualification as settled by the Makurdi High Court which dismissed the suit file by the PDP adding that by law, one cannot separate the party from the candidate.

Counsel to the Independent National Election Commission, INEC re-echoed the same submissions made by Mr Hon saying Mr Tarzoor did not win the elections by majority of lawful votes and also urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

Counsel to Mr Terhemen Tarzoor, Mr Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN urged the court to allow the appeal and dismiss the cross-appeal, and hold that the APC did not hold its governorship primaries in the state and therefore Mr Tarzoor was the only qualified candidate at the elections.

He had earlier appealed for an extension of time to enable him attach the councils seal to the originating notice of the appeal which was opposed by the Governor’s lawyer.
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