The election of Mr Ossy Prestige of the All Progressives Grand Alliance as the elected representative for Abia North/South Federal Constituency has been upheld by the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
According to the report, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uzor Azubuike, and Mascot Uzor-Kalu of the All Progressives Congress had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Prestige.
The candidate of APC and PDP had approached the tribunal claiming that Prestige did not win the majority of the lawful votes cast at the February 23 election and urged the tribunal to declare them the winner of the election.
The PDP candidate had claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission deducted results from 14 polling units during the election.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by a member of the panel, Justice I.P.C Igwe, the tribunal dismissed Azubuike’s petition for lacking in merit.
The tribunal held that INEC’s exclusion of some results was in order, saying that the results were submitted by people who were not election officials after collation had ended.
The tribunal also nullified Uzor-Kalu’s petition, describing it as fundamentally defective because he failed to join the party that came second in the poll.
“Having come a distant third in the election, the petitioner failed to join the party that came second” Igwe said.
The counsel to Azubuike, Chijioke Nwogu, in his reaction stated that the tribunal’s judgement was not final and they are ready to appeal against the ruling.
Also reacting, Mr Victor Etie, counsel for Uzor-Kalu said they would review the judgement and likely challenge some of the decisions in the Appeal Court.
Mr Nwabueze Nwankwo, counsel for Prestige, described the judgment as good, saying that “the panel did a thorough job.”