Supreme Court affirms Samuel Ortom as Benue governor

Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor
Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

Mr. Ortom is a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

A seven-man panel of judges led by Justice Nwali Ngwuta, dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Terhemen Tarzoor, on the grounds that his party lacks the locus standi to institute the suit.

The judge held that Mr. Tarzoor was not a member of the APC and therefore could not contest the nomination and sponsorship of Mr. Ortom.

Mr. Ngwuta‎ said it was only a person who contested the primary election against Mr. Ortom that could challenge his nomination by the APC.

Mr. Ngwuta also awarded N150, 000 fine against Mr. Tarzoor, as cost in favour of Governor Samuel Ortom and his party, the APC. 
Mr. Tarzoor had approached the Supreme Court in December, 2015, to challenge an Appeal Court’s ruling which upheld the decision of the Benue state election tribunal in his (Mr. Tazoor’s) case against the emergence of Mr. Ortom as candidate of the APC for the April 11 governorship election in the state.

Mr. Tazoor had in his petition to the Appeal Court held that the APC did not conduct any primary election known in law and therefore failed to legally select a candidate for the said election.

He prayed the court to dismiss the judgment of the Benue state election tribunal, and discountenance the results of the election of which Mr. Ortom emerged winner of the Benue State governorship election in April 2015.

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