Peter Duru – Makurdi
The All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship candidate in Benue State, Mr Emmanuel Jime, has vowed to approach the Court of Appeal to upturn the judgement of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which on Monday affirmed the victory of Governor Samuel Ortom at the poll.
The Justice Adebola Olusiyi led tribunal had upheld the election of Governor Ortom and dismissed the petition filed by the APC candidate for lacking in merit.
Reacting to the judgement, Jime through his running-mate, Mr Sam Ode, said “we will test the validity of the decision at the appellate court.
“We implore our supporters to remain calm, steadfast and resolute. Thank God the chairman of the tribunal said there are other available layers for us to explore,” he added.
Counsel to Governor Ortom, Mr Sebastian Hon, on his part also threatened to file a cross-appeal if the petitioners approached the Appeal Court.
“If they file an appeal we will file a cross-appeal because there are some areas of the judgement that didn’t go down well with us also,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ortom in his reaction to the judgement said it was a victory for the people of the state who elected him for a second term.
The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said “the verdict of the tribunal has confirmed the unanimous decision of Benue voters and has also proven that my re-election was credible.
“The victory is for every Benue person and the task of building the state is the responsibility of all the people.
“I extend a hand of fellowship to the candidate of the APC and other contestants in the election because politics is over, now is time for governance and my administration is willing to collaborate with Benue sons and daughters irrespective of political differences, ethnicity, religion and place of origin to move our state forward,” the governor stated.