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Ebonyi PDP rejects Tribunal ruling, heads to appeal Court

PDP’s lawyer in Ebonyi state contended that one of the grounds of their appeal would be on the fact that the APC did not properly nominate Mr Nwifuru to fly its flag at the polls. Photo: Radio Nigeria Archive

The Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election, Ifeanyi Odi, in Ebonyi state, has rejected the judgement of the Ebonyi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld the victory of Governor Francis Nwifuru as winner of the election.

A 3-man panel of the Tribunal sitting in Abuja, led by Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, had in it’s judgment, dismissed the petition for being unmeritorious and for want of jurisdiction.

The panel held that the PDP and it’s candidate lacked the legal right to meddle into the internal affairs of the APC as it relates to nomination of candidate.

The panel also held that since the issue of nomination and disqualification being pre-election matters, it should have been lodged and determined at the Federal High Court, and not at the Tribunal.

Reacting to the judgement, Ifeanyi Iboko, the counsel representing Ifeanyi Odi in the matter, argued that they would head to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the Tribunal.

Iboko said the Tribunal erred in law when it held that the petitioner could not substantially adduce credible evidence to prove that he won the election.

He further contended that the purported statements of the poll results from the polling unit in Ebonyi State Local Government Areas were not tendered by the polling unit agents and did not satisfy the condition in Section 137 of the Electoral Act 2022.

However, Counsel to the respondents and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abdul Ibrahim lauded the decision of the tribunal and urged the respondents to work together with the government for a better nation.

Also reacting, Governor Francis Nwifuru dedicated his victory to the people of Ebonyi state and urged his challengers to drop further litigations but join hands with him to develop the state.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade