By Nnamdi Obi, Abakaliki: THE National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State sacked the member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, Hon. Lazarus Ogbee.
The tribunal Monday declared the petitioner and the All Progressive Congress (APC), candidate, Chinedu Ogah winner of the election.
Ogbee, who was the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), candidate and was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), lost his seat in the House of Reps.
In the election, Ogbee had polled 31,296 votes while Ogah got 27,700 votes.
But in his petition, Ogah prayed the tribunal to declare him winner, alleging that there were deductions from his votes in some polling units and wards by INEC favor Ogbee.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Sika Henry Aprioku agreed with Ogah
and restored over 8,000 votes earlier canceled by INEC in some wards in the constituency.
According to the tribunal, the final results of the election from evidence should have been 36,238 votes for the APC as against PDP’s 33,263 votes.
The Tribunal therefore directed INEC to immediately issue the APC candidate certificate of return and withdraw the one issued earlier to Ogbee.
After the judgement, Ogah said: “It showcased that the mandate of the masses has been restored. The tribunal really looked in the eye of the masses and saw that they voted for the APC.
AFTER losing his seat at the tribunal, Ogbee has urged members of his constituency to be calm and resolute, as he will reclaim his mandate at the Court of Appeal.
In a statement after the ruling, Ogbee insisted that although the tribunal ruled against him, he was going to appeal the matter and defend the mandate, which was freely given to him by the people of Ezza South and Ikwo Federal constituency on February 23in the National Assembly election in the state.
Urging his constituents not to panic, he assured that the mandate given him by the people of Ezza South and Ikwo Federal constituencywill be restored.
The lawmaker, who alleged a “judicial gang up” to steal the voices of his constituents, with which they spoke at the polls, commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the leader of the party and the State Governor David Umahi for their support, adding that he will pursue the case till his mandate under the party is restored.
He stated: “There is no cause for alarm. The ruling at the tribunal is not final. I am still the member of the National Assembly until the Appellate Court rules.
“I’m confident that I will win at the Appeal Court.