The National Assembly and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, has thrown out the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Ohafia South constituency of Abia state, Leonard Eme Umezuruike.
He had challenged the INEC’s declaration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Honorable Ifeanyi Uchendu as winner of the March 9 House of Assembly election conducted in the state.
Uchendu, is also the current member representing Ohafia South constituency in the State Assembly.
The plaintiff (Umezuruike), had on 30th day of March, 2019, filed a petition marked, EFT/AB/HA/11/2019, praying that the tribunal declares him winner of the election in Ohafia south constituency.
He said that the defendant (Uchendu) of the PDP was fraudulently declared winner by the INEC Returning Officer in the election.
However, the petitioner,(Umezuruike), on the 18th day of April, 2019 filed a notice of motion to withdraw the matter, excusing that he hurriedly approached the tribunal with the hope of assembling the unit election documents with the result sheets which he was unable to do on time.
He affirmed that after eventually gathering his figures in the result sheets, he found out that the respondent (Uchendu) won the election out-rightly, which as a result, led him to withdraw the petition.
In her ruling, the three-man panel of the election tribunal chaired by Hon Justice A. Aderibigbe, granted the application of the APGA candidate (Umezuruike) and thereby struck out the case.
Speaking later, an elated Uchendu encouraged candidates of the other parties to join hands with him in giving the people of Ohafia south more better and effective representation.
He said, “I am rededicating my victory in the last House of Assembly election held in Ohafia South constituency to God and my wonderful constituents. I’m calling on other opposition candidates to join me in taking our dear Ohafia south to greater and prosperous heights”.
Recall that Professor Mrs Elisi Adanma Sabina, the Returning Officer for the State Assembly election for Ohafia South constituency had declared the PDP candidate winner of the March 9 House of Assembly poll conducted in the constituency.
Uchendu polled 6228 votes to defeat Leonard Umezuruike of APGA, who scored 4162 to emerge second in the election.