This is the Biography of Senator David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark, popularly known as Senator David Mark, a former Senate President of Nigeria. David Mark was born on April 8, 1948. He is an indigene of Benue State.
He attended St. Francis Catholic Practicing School, Otukpo from 1956 to 1961. He then proceeded to the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1962 to 1966.
Between 1967 and 1970, he was at Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, he attended the School of Signals, Blandford, United Kingdom, in 1970; College of Military Engineering, Poona, Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow, from 1971 to 1975; Command Staff College, Jaji, from 1978 to 79; National Defence University, Washington DC, from 1990 to 1991; Harvard University, Boston, from 1991 to 1992.
Before becoming a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he was Commander 1 Division Headquarters and Signals, Kaduna; Commandant, School of Signals, Lagos; Staff Officer, Operations Headquarters and Signals Lagos; Sports Officer, Signal Brigade, Lagos; Faculty Director, National War College; General Staff Officer, Grade I Coordinate Command & Staff College, Jaji; Directing Staff Officer, Command and Staff College, Jaji; Commander, 3rd Marine Signals Division, Port-Harcourt; Brigade Major, Signal Brigade, Lagos; Director of Telecommunications, Army Headquarters, Lagos; Chairman, Abandoned Properties Implementation Commission.
He later became the Military Governor of Niger State from 1984 to 1986 and was Minister of Communications in 1987; he went on a self-imposed exile from 1993 to 1998.
In 1999, David Mark contested for the Benue South Senatorial seat and won under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP). He was again re-elected from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, he recontested again and won. This time around, he became the Senate President. David mark would later be Senate President of Nigeria from 2007 to 2011, and was re-elected for a fourth time for another tenure of 2011 to 2015.
In the 2015 elections, he again re-contested for the Benue South Senatorial seat and won.
However, in a report by Vanguard Nigeria, The Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, annulled the election of the Senator David Mark in a judgment of November, 2015.
The Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh elections in the Benue South senatorial district within 90 days.
David Mark’s victory at the 2015 National Assembly elections, was challenged by Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who petitioned the Benue state Legislative Houses elections tribunal asking for the cancellation of the election and an order detailing INEC to conduct fresh election in the district.
The Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led trial panel had on October 7th., 2015 dismissed Onjeh’s petition on the ground that evidences tendered before the tribunal were documentary hearsay evidences.
However, in a unanimous judgement read by Justice Peter Ige, the appellate court dismissed the judgement of the tribunal and upheld the plea of the appellant that Mark’s election failed substantially to meet with the provisions of paragraphs 39 and 40 of the INEC approved electoral guidelines and sections 73 and 74 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The panel of jurists also questioned the failure of the trial court to admit evidences tendered by the appellant to canvass his case and in another instance refer to the same evidence to arrive at its decision.
Justice Ige thus held that, “the lower tribunal cannot be seen to blow hot and cold at the same time. The appellant has established his case on the balance of probability. It is our considered view that the appellant’s appeal is meritorious.”
“The appellant showed by oral evidence that collation of results was still ongoing a day after the declaration of results of the election in seven local government areas of the district.”
“The judgement of Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led tribunal of October 7th., 2015 dismissing the petition is nullified. Therefore the election of Senator David Mark is hereby set aside.”
“INEC is by this judgement to conduct fresh senatorial election in the Benue South district within 90 days.”
An important point to note while he was senate president was that When leading the review of the Constitution, David Mark reportedly urged his colleagues to set their personal interests and focus on the interests of the Nigerian people.
After the United Kingdom criticized Nigeria’s Prohibition of Same-Sex Marriage bill, threatening to pull their foreign aid, Mark responded that they “should keep their aid.”