The Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki on Monday dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) gubernatorial candidate in Ebonyi, Chief Ajah Agha, against the election of Gov. David Umahi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Umahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the March 9, 2019 election.
Agha had petitioned the tribunal over unlawful exclusion of his name from the INEC ballot paper, accusing the PDP and its candidate of masterminding the exclusion.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice Abdulrasak Abdulkarim, dismissed the petition on the grounds that the PDM failed to submit the name of its candidate to INEC when it was supposed to do so.
“According to findings, the PDM sent the name three days after the closure of submission of names.
“The party also did not organise its primaries in order to produce a candidate according to INEC guidelines.
““`Your petition, therefore, lacks merit,” he ruled.
The chairman ruled that the petitioner should pay a compensation of N100, 000 to the second and third respondents.
In his reaction, Umahi thanked God for the tribunal’s judgment and described his victory at the polls as sacrosanct.
Umahi described the petition as a slight distraction, but noted that such would not deter him from offering good governance to the people of Ebonyi.
Counsel to the petitioner, Mr Michael Odo, however, faulted the tribunal’s ruling, saying that it would be challenged at the appellate court. (NAN)