Sunday, 29 November 2015

War of Words: Senator Mark Replies Ortom's Claim of Innocent Over Appeal Court Judgement reports that the former Senate President, David Mark has replied Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom on his claim that the state government was not behind the nullification of his (Mark) election.

Mark’s fifth term election into the 8th assembly was nullified by the Appellate Court over irregularities and electoral malpractices at the polls.
Ortom, while reacting to the development, exonerated his government from Mark’s political misfortunes, saying that he never interfered in the verdict that upturned the tribunal’s earlier ruling.
“The governor is a man who believes in justice, fair play and fair hearing. So in what sense would you then say there was an interference by the governor? I mean there is none. The governor has nothing to do in this case. It is a national assembly matter and the aggrieved petitioner went to court. The governor has nothing to do with this case and that is it,” Ortom had said in a statement by his media aide.
Reacting to Ortom’s submission, Mark in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Mumeh, said he could read between the lines the circumstances that led to his ouster.
Mark’s statement quoted Mark as saying that he was not afraid of going to the polls, saying that his people would always vote him.
His statement reads.
“We do not intend to join issues with anyone over the decision of the Court of Appeal in Makurdi, Benue state, that voided the election of the former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, as Senator representing Benue South
“But we found it curious that the state governor, Chief Samuel Ortom, can come up with a frantic denial of playing any role in the judicial decision as if he sat on the panel.
“It is even more strange that Ortom, through his media adviser, Terve Akase, said his boss neither interferred nor influenced the judgement whereas nobody had accused or mentioned the governor’s name in any blame sharing.
“It is trite saying in African tradition that if an owl cried in the night and a child dies the following morning, we do not need to ask who killed the child.
“Would it be wrong to conclude therefore that Ortom, through his media adviser, has personally or vicariously, taken responsibility for the panel decision to rule against Senator Mark?
“On our part, we believe in the independence of the judiciary as the last hope of the common man but the governor’s quick denial of any role in the judgement, even when he had not been accused, is a subtle narrative of the role the state government played in this bizzare decision of the Appeal panel.
“In Benue South, hate him or love him, Senator Mark adorns a garment washed by God which no man can stain.
“If for whatever reason, the justices of Appeal Tribunal found merit in awarding victory to a man who neither participated nor contested the election in the real sense of the word, we hail their ingenuity.
“For us, it is more revealing that the Appeal panel did not question
or disapproved the results of the election but found comfort in conflict in dates signed by the INEC returning officer for no fault of Sen. Mark as if that was more relevant than the votes that count and were counted.

“Nothing can be farther from the truth. Our people voted overwhelmingly for Sen. Mark on march 28th 2015 and are prepared to do same even now. No amount of external forces or harassment can undermine the resolve of our people .
“It is no longer a surprise that people forget their yesterday with ease but we wish Ortom well.”



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