Protest greeted the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won Saturday’s Benue South rerun election, ensuring it’s candidate, David Mark, retained his Senate seat, from which the court ejected him a few months ago.
However, Daniel Onjeh, a 41-year-old former students’ leader, who contested on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) wanted the result declared inconclusive.
The rerun was conducted after the Appeal Court annulled the March 28, 2015 election of which Mark was declared winner by INEC.
Declaring the results of the rerun at 5.51am on Sunday, the Senatorial Returning Officer, Ishaq Eneji, said Mark garnered 84,192 votes, leaving margin of 12,571 between him and Onjeh who scored 71,621 votes.
“Having satisfied the requirement of the law, David Bournaventure is hereby declared winner, Eneji announced.
While 522, 713 were registered for the election, only 165, 093 were accredited, indicating voters apathy across the senatorial zone.
A further breakdown showed 159,557 was the number of total votes cast, of which 155,813 votes were held valid, while 3,744 were rejected as invalid.
According to the results declared by Eneji, out of the nine local government areas of which the district is composed, Mark secured victory in five local government areas: Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu.
Onjeh won in four, namely Ogbadigbo, his hometown, Ohimini, Obi and Oju LGAs.
Meanwhile, a total of 29,273 votes were cancelled, higher than the margin of win of 12,571 between Messrs Mark and Onjeh.
However, Eneji declared the former Senate President winner despite protest by APC agent who asked that the election election be declared inconclusive.