Wednesday, October 14, 2015 9:16 am
The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Umuahia has dismissed the petition against the election of former Gov. Theodore Orji for Abia Central senatorial zone.
A member of the tribunal, Justice Imeh Umannah, while delivering judgment in the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Ahamdi Nweke, said that the tribunal upheld the preliminary objections raised by Orji of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Umannah explained that the petition was incompetent, considering that Nweke failed to provide the scores polled by him and the respondent during the election.
He further said that the petitioner did not specify the wards and units where there were substantial irregularities, corrupt practices and non-compliance with the cited sections of the Electoral Act.
Consequently, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lack of competence and affirmed Orji’s election.
In a related development, the tribunal also upheld the election of Chief Sam Onuigbo also of the PDP, for Ikwuano/Umuahia North and Umuahia South Federal Constituency.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, who read the judgment, said that the petitioner, Chief Collins Onyeama (APGA), failed to prove the allegation of non-compliance.
Onigbanjo further said that Onyeama could not tender evidence to prove his allegations of mutilation and alterations of the result sheets.
He said that the tribunal relied on the certified true copies of the result sheets tendered by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
This, he said, was because the petitioner could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the pink copy of the result was issued to him by the commission.
The tribunal also discountenanced the petitioner’s allegation that fictitious results were produced in areas where election did not take place for lack of evidence.
The tribunal upheld the election of Onuigbo, saying that it complied with the sections of the Electoral Act.
The tribunal declared the result of Arochukwu State Constituency inconclusive and ordered a rerun in 25 units in the area.
A member of the tribunal, Justice Bello Tukur, who read the judgment in the petition filed by Mr Chijioke Okoro (PDP) against the election of Mr Luke Okara (APGA), said that the petitioner proved beyond reasonable doubt that election did not take place in those units.