Ortom Not Qualified to Contest Gov Elections –Tarzoor | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ortom Not Qualified to Contest Gov Elections –Tarzoor

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 at 8:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tor Vande-Acka, Makurdi


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2015 governorship elections in Benue State, Terhemen Tarzoor, has urged the election tribunal to squash the election of Samuel Ortom on the grounds that he was not qualified to contest the election.

Ortom who was the former Minister Industry, Trade and Investment in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration contested the governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and was declared winner.

In a petition filed at the election petition tribunal in the state, Tarzoor wants the tribunal to declare that Ortom was not qualified to contest the elections; to declare his (Ortom’s) votes during the elections as invalid and to declare him (Tarzoor) as winner.

Speaking to newsman after filing the petition in Makurdi on Wednesday, lead counsel to Tarzoor’s legal team, Titus Hyundu, said his client took the action because Ortom was not the candidate of the APC.

According to him, “The gist of the matter is that the governor-elect (Ortom) was not qualified to contest the elections on the platform of the APC and on account of that all the votes that were counted for him and the party were invalid votes.”

Hyundu argued that because Tarzoor was the runner-up he should be declared winner “and the certificate of return be withdrawn from Ortom and given to him (Tarzoor).

He stated further, “The law is clear when you want to conduct party primaries you notify INEC and they supervise the elections; it is a mandatory requirements of the law but the purported primaries were inconclusive on the grounds that there was a court injunction restraining the party because professor Ugbah felt he was short changed.”

The counsel further explained: “But they (APC) later came to an agreement and notified INEC of the need to hold the elections. But when INEC went to the premises, they saw nobody and reported that no primaries were conducted.”

The Counsel also argued that most of the decisions they took were based on Section 183 of Electoral Act and 177 of the Nigerian Constitution.