The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has rejected judgement of the Ebonyi Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki which upheld Governor Dave Umahi’s victory in the April 9 governorship election.
The tribunal, headed by Justice A. B Abdulkareem, on September 2, struck out the suit by the PDM challenging the election of Umahi at the poll.
Chief Aja Agha, PDM’s governorship candidate in the election at a press conference in Abakaliki Wednesday, said that he and the party rejected the judgement and vowed to challenge the outcome at the Appeal Court.
Aja, who faulted the judgement described it as a miscarriage of justice and noted that the judgement would not stand appeal.
He said that PDM sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for allegedly excluding its name from the INEC’s result sheet.
He said that the tribunal judgement did not reflect the main issue in contention, adding that the party conducted a valid party primary and his name submitted as the duly nominated governorship candidate for the election.
He said that the party submitted name of its candidate within the stipulated time frame contrary to the tribunal judgement which held that PDM failed to submit the name of the party’s candidate before INEC’s deadline.
“The closing date for submission of parties’ nomination forms was December 17, 2018 and our party submitted on October 6, 2018.
“If our party did not meet the deadline for submission of nomination forms, why then did INEC include the party’s name and logo in the ballot papers?
“We want to tell Ebonyi people and our supporters that the judgement is not acceptable by our party and by myself.
“The judgement is a miscarriage and will not stand the test of appeal and we are ready to challenge the verdict even if it means going to the Supreme Court”, Agha said.
Meanwhile the tribunal chairman, Abdukareem said in his judgement on Monday that the PDM failed to prove that it conducted its primaries in line with provisions of the Electoral Act.
He also noted that there was no evidence to show that PDM submitted its candidate’s name to INEC before the deadline for parties to do so. (NAN)