The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has upheld the election of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Mr Ossy Prestige as the duly elected representative for Aba North/South federal constituency.
The duo of Peoples Democratic Party’s Mr Uzor Azubuike and All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr Mascot Uzor-Kalu had separately approached the tribunal to nullify Prestige’s election.
In their petitions, they contended that Prestige did not win the majority of the lawful votes cast at the February 23 poll and urged the tribunal to respectively declare them the rightful winners.
Azubuike accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of excluding results from 14 polling units in 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.
It further threw away 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.
Reacting to the judgment, Azubuike’s counsel, Mr Chijioke Nwogu, said the tribunal’s judgment was not final since they had the opportunity to appeal against the decision.
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.”