Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has dismissed the suit filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and its candidate, Chief Ajah Agha, which among others, sought the nullification of the March 9 governorship election and a conduct of fresh one.
The election produced Chief David Umahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor having polled the highest valid votes and met other requirements of the electoral law.
The petitioners in their prayers sought the nullification of the governorship election on the grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully excluded its name in the ballot papers and as such violated its right to participate in the poll.
In a judgment delivered by Justice A.B Abdulkareem, the tribunal held that PDM failed to prove that it conducted primaries and submitted the name of its candidate in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act. The tribunal observed that the party did not conduct its governorship primary within the stipulated time and dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
He said: “Based on the overwhelming evidence adduced before us, it is crystal clear that no valid and authentic primaries were conducted which produced the second petitioner as an unopposed governorship candidate of the first petitioner.”