The immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, closed his defence at Legislative Houses Elections Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, Benue State.
Mark’s victory in the Benue South senatorial district, at the last general elections was challenged at the tribunal by the defeated All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Daniel Onjeh, who is urging the court to nullify the election on the ground that it was marred by malpractices.
At Tuesday’s hearing which was attended by the former Senate President, his counsel, Mr. Ken Ikonne, informed the tribunal of his intention to close his defence, after which he applied for the leave of the tribunal to tender certified copies of extracts from the Sunday Mirror and This Day publications of March 29., 2015, in support of his defence.
He stated that the two documents had already been pleaded in paragraphs five and 116 on pages two and 117 of the first respondents amended reply to the petition.
Ikonne argued further that the documents were brought sequel to the provisions of Paragraph 41(6)(c) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2011 as amended, as well as paragraph 20, Rule 2(d) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure rule of 2009.
The two exhibits were admitted in evidence after the petitioners raised no objection to the admissibility of the documents.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, adjourned further hearing in the matter to August 19, 2015, with a directive to all the counsels to close their cases within the week without further delay.