The election petition tribunal for gubernatorial election, sitting in Umuahia the Abia State capital has dismissed the petition brought before it by the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate in the 2019 election, Dr. Alex Otti which seeks to nullify the victory of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The court proceedings which started at exactly 9am saw the arrival of the presiding judges as well as counsels to both parties.
Introduction of counsels follow immediately, after that, the presiding judge told the court that for want of time, they have to go straight to read out the summary and findings of which the both the petitioner and the respondents tendered in the course of the adoption of written addresses through their counsels.
After that, the presiding officer in his judgment, explained that the ground to which the petitioner filed his petition was based on the fact that the second respondent was not duly elected, and that the said election was characterized by over voting, as well as none compliance with electoral guidelines during the election.
He explained that notwithstanding the allegation made against the PDP candidate, it is clear that there was no concrete evidence by the petitioner to back up his allegation.
The judge stated that the petitioners application on over voting and none compliance with electoral laws was not convincing, pointing out that by virtue of the electoral law, no voter is allowed to vote, whose PVC is not verified by the electoral body.
The presiding judge wondered why someone who came third in the said election will be hinging on over voting and non-compliance with the electoral acts.
He stated that though the amendment of the electoral act was based on the use of card reader during election, but that the law did not say that manual accreditation is wrong during election.
The three-man panel judge further hinted that out of over 798 polling units, it was clear that the petitioner has failed to prove his case in a concrete point.
Ruling on the matter, the judge dismissed the case on the fact that the petitioner failed to prove his case on over voting and non-compliance with the electoral act.Reacting to the judgment, the counsel to the second respondent Dr. Paul Ananaba [SAN] described the victory as well deserved, hinting that the petitioner’s case was empty and dead on arrival.
Dr. Ananaba thanked the panel for doing a thorough job on the matter, saying that with the victory, such will make the Governor to continue on his good work in the state.Also speaking, the State Party Chairman APGA Hon.
Dr. Nkem Okoro faulted the judgment, arguing that their candidate had a good evidence but that he was surprise that his prayers on the outcome of the election, was not granted.
He however explained that the party will review the judgments so as to appeal the verdict soon.