The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as declared David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Benue South rerun election on Saturday.
Mark, President of the 6th and 7th Senate (2007-2015), defeated Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to return to the 8th Senate from which the Appeal Court sacked him on November 28, 2015.
Mark, 67, has been in the Senate since 1999.
Declaring the results at 5.51am on Sunday, Returning Officer, Prof. 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 Bonaventure Mark is hereby declared winner, Eneji announced.
While 522, 713 were registered for the election, only 165, 093 were accredited.
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.
Mark won in five out of the nine local government areas which make up the senatorial district namely Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu.
Onjeh was victorious in four: Ogbadigbo, Ohimini, Obi and Oju.
While APC agents protested the result and asked that the election be declared inconclusive, there was jubilation among Mark’s supporters in Idomaland in Benue State and beyond.