The Governorship Election Petition Appeal sitting in Enugu has affirmed the victory of Gov. David Nweze Umahi as the duly elected governor of Ebonyi State as a petition by Mr. Ajah-Agha Olughu of Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) challenging his victory was struck out in the early hours of 29th October 2019.
Recall, the 2019 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki presided over by Justice A.B Abdulkarem recently dismissed the petition brought before it by Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM)for lack of merit but the plaintiff proceeded to Court of Appeal Enugu which was also brought to nothingness.
The Appeal affirmed the tribunal judgment and declared that the election, declaration, and return of the third respondent in the matter Chief David Umahi by the first respondent, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) was lawful and not liable to be nullified.
Note, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM),Chief Ajah-Agha Olughu, had dragged INEC, PDP and Governor Umahi to the Tribunal for alleged unlawful exclusion of his name from INEC ballot papers used in 2019 March 9 Governorship Election in the state, an act which in other words disenfranchised them.
The tribunal despite all reliefs sought by the petitioners affirmed Governor David Umahi’s victory with a declaration that from their findings, the 2nd petitioner sent list of his party’s candidates later than the constitutionally stipulated date, did not comply with INEC guidelines for nomination, did not conduct valid primary elections, in other words, the 2nd petitioner was not validly nominated by the 1st petitioner, PDM to contest the said election in Ebonyi State.
The tribunal declared thus in part: “PDM did not submit the name of their candidates to INEC when they were supposed to do so”
“Your party sent the name of your candidate three days after closure of submission, according to findings”
“Also your party did not organize primaries as to produce a candidate according to INECs guideline, therefore your petition lacks merit.
In a statement signed by Mr Francis Nwaze Special Assistant to the Governor on Media stated thus” We do know that Mr. Ajah-Agha Olughu was heading for total failure on his mission following the glaring evidence which supports the re-election of Governor David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE. A situation where he won his major opponent with over 90% of votes cast.In all, we say Congratulations to our wonder-working Governor for this second victory for Ebonyians.”
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