Petition Tribunal: Umahi’s victory is victory for democracy, lawmakers

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Petition Tribunal gives victory to Umahi

By Nnamdi Obi Abakaliki: REACTIONS have continued the trail the ruling of the election petition tribunal affirming the victory of the Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi at the March 9 governorship election.  

Members of the House of Representatives, Livinus Makwe (Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency), Anayo Nwonu  (Ezza North/Ishielu) and Laz Ogbee (Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency) have described the governor’s victory as a victory for democracy and a reflection of the wishes of people of Ebonyi.

In a statement, Makwe noted that the petitioner’s decision to challenge the outcome of the election was a nullity as Umahi’s election was adjudged by all observers to be credible, free and fair.

He commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the people of Ebonyi for supporting the state leadership.

Ogbee, maintained that there was no doubt about the governo getting his victory at the tribunal as the PDP remains the dominant party in the state and the party will control the state for more years to come.

On his own Nwonu called on the people to continue to support the government of Umahi to move the state forward especially as the governor has done well in repostioning the state economically and built up infrastructure.

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, had upheld the election of Umahi and struck out the suit filed by the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM).

The PDM had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court for for what the party termed unlawful exclusion of the name of its candidate, Ajah Agha from the ballot paper, joining Umahi and  the PDP.

Agha prayed the tribunal to cancel the said election and order for the conduct of another one. 

But in a one and a half hour judgment, the tribunal struck out the case for lack of merit.

Delivering judgment Monday, after over three months of sitting, Justice Abdukareem said that PDM failed to proof that it conducted primaries in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act. 

The Tribunal also said that there was no evidence to show that the party submitted the name of their candidate to INEC before the deadline, noting that 

”your party sent the name three days after closure of submission according to findings.

“Also your party did not organize primaries in order to produce a candidate according to INECs guideline, therefore your petition lacks merit.

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