Benue South Senatorial Rerun Election: LIVE UPDATES


Today, Saturday, February 20, the people of Benue South will return to the poll to elect their senator.

The contest is straight between a former Senate President, David Mark, of the Peoples Democratic Party, and David Onjeh, a former students’ leader, and candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

The election is a rerun. The Appeal Court had nullified the March 28, 2015 election of which Mr. Mark was declared winner.

Mr. Mark is 68 years old, while Mr. Onjeh is 41.

Benue South Senatorial District has nine local government areas, dominated mainly by the Idoma ethnic nationality.

The district also has significant populations of Igede, Agila, Alala, Apa and Agatu. Messrs Mark and Onjeh are native Idomas.

PREMIUM TIMES is on the ground in Benue South, and will serve you updates of the election.

Live Blog

BREAKING: David Mark Returns To Senate For a Record Fifth Time

In the Saturday’s election, Mr. Mark, Nigeria’s Senate President (2007-2015), defeated his sole challenger, Daniel Onjeh, 41-year old former students’ leader, who contested on the platform of 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, Mr. Mark garnered 84,192 votes leaving margin of 12,571 between him and Mr. Onjeh who scored 71,621 votes.


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“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 Benue South.

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 clinched vitctory in local government areas, including Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu.

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

Meanwhile, a total of 29,273 votes were cancelled, higher than margin of win of12,571 between Messrs Mark and Onjeh.

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


Collation of results from LGAs is underway. Two LGAs’ results have been collated

Okpokwu LGA

Accredited voters 19806
APC 6030
PDP 11935

The returning officer reported cases violence and snatching of INEC materials, leading to cancellations of votes, totaling 1077 in four polling units.

Otukpo LGA

Accredited voters 31,017
APC 12,203
PDP 18,468


Accredited voters 14,799
APC 4943
PDP 9101

Election was cancelled in four polling units across three wards following cases of overvoting and snatching of materials. Total of votes cancelled: 1637.

Also in Otukpo 6,077 votes were cancelled in 12 pollings units across six wards.


Collation of results from this LGA is currently stalled. The APC agent says he can’t take the results since he is agent for the LGA is not on ground. He suspects another person could have impersonated and signed on his behalf.

The APC agent insists on seeing or communicating his LGA agent but Returning Officer is resisting.


Results now taken without APC’s LGA agent.
Accredited voters: 16,813
APC 8,585
PDP 7,043

After these results were announced by Returning Officer for the LGA, the APC senatorial agent rose against approving the results, again, on the ground that he had not seen his LGA agent whom he said could have been manipulated, coerced or impersonated to sign the result.

His had breakthrough this time as his persuasion made the Returning Officer to “stand down the results while we wait for your agent.”

He however added “we would not take this again. You can’t hold us to ransom because your agent is not here.”

Agatu LGA

Accredited voters 11,932
APC -3,458
PDP – 7,986

“There were a number issues,” the Returning Officer for the LGA said. “Some young guys were shooting and election was cancelled in two wards because officials had to run for their lives. In other wards too, there were units where votes were cancelled. Otherwise, it was a good election.” Total votes cancelled: 8,665 in 16 killing units.

Now, alleging widespread irregularities, APC agent said: “I hereby call for cancellation of Agatu election!” APC LGA agent did not sign the results sheet.

Also, the EO reported there was Fulani attack in Agatu, causing officials and voters to desert voting points at Egba part of the LGA.

However, after input by the Benue State REC, Istifanuf Dafwang, the Returning Officer have verdict, approving the result from Agatu.

After Agatu results were taken, APC LGA agent for Obi arrived and confirmed he did sign the result sheets. The results from the LGA, as earlier posted, were then approved.

Ohimini LGA

Accredited voters: 12,334
APC – 6192
PDP – 5923
Total cancelled votes: 1542


Accredited voters: 13,560
APC -6,370
PDP -6513

Number of votes cancelled: 1172 in three polling units across three votes. Results were cancelled as a result of over voting. Results returned were higher than numbers of accredited voters displayed by the card readers.

Ogbadibo LGA

Accredited voters 17,497
APC 8,882
PDP 6,844

Accredited voters 25335

APC 14,158
PDP 10,289


Now, as security officials who will protect all of us are groaning and hungry, INEC officials are being served food. See pictures.

Earlier, as voting was going on at Otukpo Town Central ward, a Civil Defence officer had approached our Reporter. “I was told you money will be brought to us on the field (in the course of work) but we are yet to see anything. So I see you now, I hope you have brought the money,” the officer said pitifully. He had mistaken the Reporter who wore INEC apron marked “Election Duty” for an INEC staff sent to bring money for the officers. INEC apron is same for Journalists, observers and most of its staff.

However, when PREMIUM TIMES visited INEC office at Otukpo to ask questions relating to the collation exercise, the Electoral Officer was seen giving out naira notes in N1000 denomination in about four wrappers to two officials, obviously top ranked officers, of the Civil Defence.

We, however, do not know if the money was allowed to trickle down to the roots.


Security officials have begun to groan at the delay in commencement of the collation exercise.

“We go spend the night here o,” one Police officer said, and was answered by his visibly tired colleague who replied, “And we never eat.”


Apart from Otukpo LGA results, no other LGA has returned to INEC general collation centre with results.


At the collation centre, Otukpo LGA Secretariat.

Although there are no “10 armoured tankers with fully armed soldiers” at the gate contrary to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Istifanus Dafwang’s yesterday’s vow; yet, this place is firmly guarded by soldiers, mobile police officers and Civil Defence details.

There are four security checks before anybody can enter the collation hall.

Results from Otukpo LGA are currently being processed by INEC officials.

It can not confirmed if any other LGA has arrived.

Collation of wards’ results at LGAs are still on going, an INEC official has said, saying there may be delay before general collation starts.



More results have arrived. These results show Daniel Onjel is maintaining early lead in Obi, Oju and Ohimini LGAs.

Oju LGA, Ukpa/Ainu Ette ward, Ihigile PU
APC 198, PDP 72

Oju LGA, Oju Ward,
Ohijile PU APC 142, PDP 132

Oju LGA, Oju ward, Ivini PU APC 153, PDP 80

Oju LGA, Owo ward, Omua Unit 1,
APC= 49, PDP= 14

Oju LGA, Okpokpo Ward, Ogum-igwe PU
APC=131, PDP=53

Oju LGA, Okpokpo Ward, Ogum-igwe PU
APC=131, PDP=53

Oju LGA, Ukpa/AInu Ette Ward, Onyoho PU APC 108 PDP 90

Oju LGA, Okpokpo Ward, Ogum-igwe PU
APC=131, PDP=53

Obi LGA, Adiko Ward, Imade PU APC 132, PDP 67



OBI LGA, Itogo Ward, Ebong PU, APC=157, PDP=138

Obi LGA, Obko Ward, Omapia PU
APC 224, PDP 70

Ohimini LGA, Aume-icho Ward,

Ohimini LGA, Idekpa Ward Olaigbechi PU
APC =57, PDP= 5

Ohimini LGA, Aume Iche Ward

Voting exercise has ended in all the nine local governments.

Now, presiding officers are now at various ward collation centres before collation at local government levels.

Ultimately, INEC zonal office in Otukpo told PREMIUM TIMES collation of results from all local government areas would commence “immediately” the Returning Officers and Electoral Officers were ready at Otukpo LGA Secretariat.

Meanwhile, results across polling units in Otukpo LGA, acclaimed as the Idoma capital and biggest in the Benue South, show David Mark is leading in the LGA with slim margin.

Here are some of the results from Otukpo:

Mr. Mark’s VIP polling unit, Otukpo Town Central ward: PDP- 254
APC – 59

PU 003, MAMSER Office, Otukpo Town East ward:
APC- 86
PDP- 57

PU 010, Otukpo Town Central ward:
PDP – 82
APC – 57

PU 023, Otukpo Town Central ward:
PDP – 39
APC – 30


Ogbaulu primary school PU, Ogbaulu Ward, Agatu LGA
PDP 75
APC 31

Oju LGA, Owo ward, Omua PU 1,

APC= 49, PDP= 14
Oju LGA, Okpokpo Ward, Ogum-igwe PU

APC -131, PDP – 53
Ugbonoko polling unit APC – 131 PDP – 110


Otukpo LGA Adoka-Haje, PU Aune Play Ground 1 PDP 135 APC 38

Otukpo LGA, Adoka Icho
Opanehe II, Open Space
APC 52
PDP 70


Idekpa ward, Olaigbechi PU
APC 88
PDP 45

Results from Orokan and Ai-Oodo wards in Ogbadibo LGA

Orokam ward
Court Oko polling,
APC 105
PDP 53
Ekere primary school unit PDP,=98 APC30
Ipole owukpa unit
APC – 78
PDP – 47
Ocheje Oko unit
APC 191
Ipole Oko unit
PDP = 46
APC = 80

Ai-Oodo Ward 2
Ola-Itodo PU
APC = 111
PDP = 51


Former Senate President, David Mark, who is the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the rerun senatorial election in Saturday’s Benue South, said he believed his constituents would return him to the Senate for a record fifth time.

Mr. Mark, who had declared winner of the March 28, 2015, election by the Indepenent National Electoral Commissioner before it was annuled Appeal Court, said this just after his cast vote at VIP polling unit, Otukpo Town East ward, Otukpo local government area.

“Our people have resolved to return me back. They have decided that no external forces can come in between us in Zone C (Benue South),” he said. “We call on our supporters to maintain law and order while the election lasts.”

Mr. Mark arrived the polling unit in company of his friend and former Senator, Tunde Ogbeha, young brother, Igoche Mark and other supporters.

David Mark arriving the polling unit
David Mark arriving the polling unit

When PREMIUM TIMES visited his polling unit at 12.33pm, voters’ apathy was obvious.

The Presiding Officer, a male corps member who did want to n mentioned, confirmed 1275 voters registered in the polling unit broken into two voting points.

“But we have only about 120 people who have come to vote,” he said.

During the time of our visit, there was nobody on the queue before INEC officials at voting point B, while voting poing had just about five people.

10.31 am

PREMIUM TIMES can confirm accreditation and voting are going on concurrently in all the nine local government areas. Exercise has also commenced in Agatu where there was two hours’ delay due to security concern.

From field reports and PREMIUM TIMES’ authoritative findings, card readers are properly functioning across the LGAs.

So far, there has not been report of violence or that of card reader failure.

The process has been smooth.

“There is no violence at all, everybody is calm,” Mr. Confidence, a presiding officer in Otukpo said, stressing what many had said across the LGAs.


PREMIUM TIMES can confirm accreditation and voting are going on concurrently in all the nine local government areas. Exercise has also commenced in Agatu where there was two hours’ delay due to security concern.

From field reports and PREMIUM TIMES’ authoritative findings, card readers are properly functioning across the LGAs.

So far, there has not been report of violence or a that of card reader failure.

The process has been smooth.

“There is no violence at all, everybody is calm,” Mr. Confidence, a presiding officer in Otukpo said, stressing what many had said across the LGAs.

At these units, total of registered voters is 800. However, as at 10.28 am, only 242 voters have exercised their civic duty in units A and B respectively.

10.19 am

PU 001A and B, Ogobia primary school 1, Ogbuju Eheje, Otukpo LGA accreditation and voting are going on simultaneously here. It is important to note that in this election, INEC is holding accreditation and voting exercises at a time, a new practice different from previous ones where voting exercise commenced after accreditation of voters.

10.04 am

INEC officials are just returning to polling units from the commission’s office in Agatu local government area. Although materials had arrived the LGA before 8am; yet, security concerns delayed commencement of distribution of materials to polling units, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.

We learnt that INEC had to wait for safety clearance from Police and SSS in Agatu LGA before it deployed its staff and corps members who work as ad hoc staff to polling units. This security concern is connected to recurring Fulani herders-Agatu deadly hostility.

9.48 am

At Iga Uroko polling unit in Itabono ward 1, Ogbadigbo LGA. Accreditation exercise is ongoing smoothly. However, no PDP agent is seen here on ground. Only an APC agent is here in this unit under Daniel Onjeh’s local government area.

9.43  am

At Olempe Polling Unit, Olaochagba ward, Ogbadibo LGA, accreditation has commenced. The process is smooth. Here is the unit of Daniel Onjeh, the APC candidate.

9.31 am

PU 08A and N Green Garden, Otukpo Town East ward. Accreditation has just commenced here.

9.25 am

PU 09, 27, Ogiri-Oko street 11, Otukpo ward. Accreditation exercise is just starting. The Presiding Officer, said the delay was due to to confusion. We didn’t know the actual place before; so, we were just roaming about.

9.18 am

PU 18, Otukpo ward, INEC officials have arrived but just getting set to commence accreditation for voters who have been waiting since 8 am. Assistant Presiding Officer said “We were delayed at the distribution centre.”


Polling officers are just arriving David Mark’s Polling Unit, VIP unit at Otukpo ward 1. They rode motorcycles and were guided by a Police officer and two Civil Defence operatives.

Mr. Sunday, an elderly person, said he had been at VIP units 10 minutes before 8am, the time INEC announced accreditation would start. “But if true, I am surprised INEC officials are yet to come,” he said.

8.29 am

VIP polling unit, Otukpo ward 1. INEC officials are yet to arrive at this polling unit the PDP candidate, David Mark, will vote. PDP agent is complaining: “I am concerned; when are they bringing these materials.”

8.09 am 

INEC officials are set at PU 10, Ward 10, Otukpo LGA. Also voters are thronging the unit. As the picture shows, voters are now checking their names in INEC “valid registrations” papers.


7.36 am 

INEC zonal head in Otukpo has completed distribution of materials to Electoral Officers. The distribution of materials started yesterday afternoon and just ended this morning.

According to reports from the LGAs, INEC officials are now moving to polling units with materials for the conduct of the election. This may fulfil the REC’s vow that the election will start 8am.



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