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Supreme Court hears appeal against Gov. Ortom

The Supreme Court has commenced hearing on governorship appeal from Benue State against the victory of Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A 7-member panel of the Justices of the Supreme court presided over by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour will determine the faith of Governor Ortom.

Counsel to the Appellant, Yusuf Ali, in adopting his processes submitted that in a case contested by pleadings, the parties are bound by the pleadings there must be an agreement from the card readers report with the total votes reported by all the polling unit.

He stressed that even if there would be differences it would not be much as the difference between accredited voters and the actual voters won’t be much.

Ali noted that except there are valid explanation from those who conducted the election there must be proper alignment with the card readers and the voters.

The requirements to call polling unit agencies, should be when there are violence and not when allegations for votes that were unaccounted for. He finally prayed the court to allow the appeals.

Counsel to the INEC, Offiong Offiong, held that the appellant argument in relation to the pleadings is diversification on the facts and circumstances of the appeal,  pleadings not supported by evidence holds no issues, the appellant has no evidence whether oral or document to rely on.

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The Tribunal having found all the 59 witnesses unreliable including the lower court there is no evidence the appellant can rely on.

Offiong added that the appellant relied heavily on the smart card report, but there is no smart card report legally before the court.

Counsel to Governor Ortom, Sebastian Hon, in adopting his processes, held that the Appellant’s case was overwhelmingly dependent on the card readers,  the Tribunal struck out the evidence of the petitioners witness, who gave evidence in respect to that.

He added that the petition is self-contradictory as the figures quoted by the appellant at the tribunal and the lower court, do not correlate.

He added that the appeal has no substance, as there is  concurrent findings of fact by two court.

Counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche, in adopting his processes summits that over voting can only be proved with the use of the votes register and not the smart card readers report. c He urged the court to dismiss the appeal.