INEC declares David Mark winner of Benue South Senatorial rerun, amid protest

Photo: dailypost.ng
Photo: dailypost.ng

The Peoples Democratic Party has won the Benue South rerun election, making its candidate, David Mark, return to the 8th Senate, from which the court ejected him a few months ago.

In Saturday’s election, Mr. Mark, former President of the Nigerian Senate, (2007-2015), was declared winner amid protests by his challenger, who demanded that the election be declared inconclusive.

The former Senate President defeated his sole challenger, Daniel Onjeh, a 41-year old former students’ leader, who contested on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The rerun was conducted after the Appeal Court annuled the March 28, 2015 election of which Mr. Mark was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Declaring the results of the rerun at 5.51am on Sunday, the Senatorial Returning Officer, Ishaq Eneji, said Mr. Mark garnered 84,192 votes, leaving margin of 12,571 between him and Mr. Onjeh who scored 71,621 votes.

“Having satisfied the requirement of the law, David Bournaventure is hereby declared winner, Mr. Eneji announced.

While 522, 713 were registered for the election, only 165, 093 were accredited, indicating voters apathy across the senatorial zone.

A further breakdown showed 159,557 was the number of total votes cast, of which 155,813 votes were held valid, while 3,744 were rejected as invalid.

According to the results declared by Mr. Eneji, out of the nine local government areas of which the district is composed, Mr. Mark secured victory in five local government areas: Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu.

Mr. Onjeh won in four, namely Ogbadigbo, his hometown, Ohimini, Obi and Oju LGAs.

Meanwhile, a total of 29,273 votes were cancelled, higher than the margin of win of 12,571 between Messrs Mark and Onjeh.

However, Mr. Eneji declared Mr. Mark winner despite protest by APC agent who asked that the election election be declared inconclusive.

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  • Olawale O

    The right man won the day. NASS of today needs the experience of David Mark. APC mans time will come. Congratulations Senator David Mark. This is about you and not about PDP

    • Agbo A Tony

      Period

  • Angry Niaja

    The number of cancelled votes is higher than the margin of the win, technically means Mark did not win outright,

    • sab

      Wrong, cancellation is different. If votes are cancelled, that means they were void. You can talk about stoppage of voting or inability to vote on account of violence, thuggery, visibility issues etcetra. Cancelled votes means they were actually cast but wrongly. People should understand simple issues. If the other man was declared winner, would you have been holding this argument? Let us learn to accept defeat and move forward.

  • george

    shame on Buhari and the entire APC members.

    INEC with inconclusive father has acted well today and Tinubu would be crying now again as usual.

    Thank God for David Mark and the PDP members we are glad.

    PEEDEEPEE POWER TO THE PEOPLE

    • MilitaryPolice01

      that is not the issue, whether you are pdp, apc, zanu pf, anc, democrats, labour, republican … are you not embarrassed this same man keeps coming back to the senate despite the presence of so many young men in his constituency who can contribute much more

      • iwe paul

        There is no embarrassment in mark coming back again and again. Senators last long in presidential democracies if there constituents so desire. If your argument is that he is performing badly or rigging himself in,then you will make sense to me. Change for change sake is stupidity of the highest order. Many younger elements like me are currently big embarassments to themselves,their constituents and the society. I can never subscribe to that. Age is not the matter,competence is.

      • sab

        Is this not an election? If his people want him, why not? OBJ, PMB at their ages and having ruled Nigeria before under khaki still came up again for election under democratic dispensation. How old is David Mark/ And how old is OBJ and PMB? What about Audu Ogbe, our agric minister? Why do you love to see wool in someone else’s eyes without seeing the log of wood in your own eyes? If we must go for change from old men to young men, the ruling party, in keeping with their change mantra, should start it, yes, they should take the lead. Check out these: Ogbonnaya Onu; Audu Ogbe; PMB etcetra, what are their ages and what is David Mark’s age? Answer before we continue.

      • Julius

        You wonder why he wont just give up running for elections. I can guess that its because he doesnt want tob e probed. I mean , the man has more money than some states in the country. Going by his separation from his white wife . Its mind blowing

      • AO

        There are many people in American senate that had been there even long before a David mark decided to contest for the first time. If his people want him to represent them so be it. We should note that being younger does not make Onjeh better. There are so many elected public office holder hi age messing up.

  • maimalari

    Old men keep winning elections in this country . Congrats mark

    • Folahan

      I wonder when they shall ever allow The Young to Grow

    • sab

      Old men continue to be ministers in Nigeria too.

  • Mama Kay

    With the number of cancelled votes, I wonder what will happen next.

    Were the younger man’s votes cancelled to give Mark the victory?

    Question for thoughts.

    • Olusola

      that is what it looks like friend. Why cancel 29k votes? It is blessing in disguise for the opponent as court can easily check the 29k votes and discover they were validly cast for APC (if they were for them).

  • Right Minded

    Upon all the figures Premium Times were publishing yesterday in favour of the APC guy as if they were INEC, I knew and said it that David Mark would win. Activism is different from professionalism in Politics. The former student union leader should go and wait for his turn.

  • Du Covenant

    My question is, what is he going to new in the senate that he has could not do in the past 16 yrs if not to go sleep for the most part and still get alot of money?. We need new ideas, fresh minds to move Nigeria forward, let us not forget that the heist of Nigeria by PDP was under his watch, I never for once heard him complaint about the way Nigeria was heading. We deserve what we get and should not complain to anyone that life is hard in Nigeria because we allow these people to be where they are.

  • favourtalk

    Why will INEC do such things, are they not the same that conducted the election of kogi that left people to vote for the 49thousands canceled votes, why will they declare David mark the winner when they still have thousands of votes to be casted? Corruption in the INEC