Tribunal Upholds Umahi’s Election

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Monday dismissed the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) against the election of Governor David Umahi and upheld the latter’s declaration as winner of the March 9 governorship.

The PDM had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court for allegedly excluding its name from the ballot box.

Joined in the suit were PDP and Governor Umahi who won the election.

Umahi defeated Senators Sunny Ogbuoji of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who placed second and 35 others, to win a second term in office.

But, PDM and its candidate in the election, Ajah Agha, petitioned the tribunal for what they termed unlawful exclusion of their party’s name and logo on the ballot paper.

They also prayed the tribunal to cancel the election and order a rerun.

Delivering its judgment on Monday, the tribunal struck out the case for lack of merit.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice A.B. 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 before it to show that the party submitted the name of their candidate to INEC before the deadline stipulated for parties to do so.

“Your party sent the name three days after closure of submission, according to finding

“Also your party did not organize primaries as to produce a candidate according to INEC’s guideline. Therefore, your petition lacks merit,” the tribunal held. 

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