The Abia state Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has struck out the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress( APC) candidate for Umuahia South constituency, Mrs Phina Kanu, against the declaration of Barrister Jerry Uzosike, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate, as winner of the March 9 House of Assembly election conducted in the constituency.
A three-man panel headed by Justice Cornelius Akintoye adjudged the PDP winner based on the decision of the petitioner to withdraw the case she earlier filed against the PDP candidate.
Speaking earlier during the sitting of the tribunal Monday, counsel to the petitioner(APC), Barrister G. Omenihu said, “My lord, a motion of notice to withdraw the petition pursuant to section 29 of the electoral act as amended.
“The motion was supported with six paragraphs. We are relying on the paragraphs. So, we urge the honorable tribunal to hands off the applications filed before it challenging the victory of the respondent (Uzosike)”.
Reacting, the PDP candidate and member-elect for Umuahia south constituency of Abia state, Barrister Jerry Uzosike, thanked the APC candidate for her decision to withdraw petition instituted against him.
Uzosike assured his constituents of quality and effective representation, but called on the governorship candidate of APC, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah as well as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) Dr Alex Otti, to emulate Mrs Kanu by withdrawing their petitions against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The member-elect said their withdrawal of the cases they filed against the incumbent governor would enable the governor deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Meanwhile, the APC candidate for Umuahia south state constituency in the just-concluded general elections, Mrs Phina Kanu, has said she was not financially induced to withdraw her petition against the PDP candidate, Jerry Uzosike.
Kanu said she withdrew the petition based on her inability to meet up the legal fees.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Jerry Uzosike, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) winner of the March 9 House of Assembly election.
The PDP candidate polled 9600 votes to defeat Mrs Phina Kanu of APC, who scored 5200 votes to emerge second in the election.