Happening now!!! Tribunal affirms Onyejeocha’s election
* Awards N200,000 cost against Udeagbara
By Steve Oko
The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abia, Tuesday, upheld the victory of Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha , member representating Isuikwuato /Umunneochi federal constituency (APC), in the February 23rd ,2019 poll.
Mr. Jude Udeachara (PDP) had filed a suit challenging the return of Onyejeocha on the grounds that her election was not in compliance with the electoral act.
The petitioner also argued that the election was marred by over voting, and that the margin of vote was less than the total number of registered votes in the units where election was cancelled or did not hold.
Reading the unanimous judgement of the three -man panel, one of the members, Justice I. P. C. Igwe, said the petitioner could not prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
The panel however held that the non rejoinder of the party of the petitioner “does not render the petition incompetent” as was argued by the respondent.
The panel held that the faliure of the petitioner’s counsel to rightly address the title of the petition rendered the petition “fatally ineffective”.
According to the panel, addressing the tribunal as National Assembly election petitions tribunal presupposes that it has no rights to entertain petitions from the state House of Assembly, where as the opposite was the case.
It held that the tribunal is a creation of the law and should not be given another name by any counsel other than its constitutional name, hence it granted the argument of the respondent that the petition be dismissed for being wrongly titled/ addressed.
The panel also disallowed further prayers of the petitioner brought after the constitutional 21 days after the election was held.
The tribunal also held that those who were allegedly disenfranchaised did not adduce any clear evidence that they could have voted for the petitioner if allowed to vote.
The tribunal also held that even if the votes the petitioner was arguing were credited to him, the respondent would still have won him with 14,478: 10,064.
The panel also held that the petitioner was unable to link the claims of corrupt practices to the first respondent.
The tribunal said the petitioner failed to prove that the perpetrators of the alleged corrupt practices or violence were the agents of the respondent.
The tribunal therefore, ruled that the petition was lacking in merit, and subsequently struck out.
It further held that the first respondent was duly returned, and awarded N200,000 cost against the petitioner in favour of each of the respondents.
Responding Counsel to the petitioner said he would “get a copy of the judgement, study it and know the next line of action “.
Counsel to the respondents however, hailed the judgement.
The Justice Cornelius Akintayo -led three man panel which started reading the judgement at 10:am delivered its judgement by 12:58 after about three hours.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.