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INEC wrongly declared APC man governor’

by Admin


All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate for March 18 governorship election in Ebonyi State, Bernard Odoh, has told the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja that Francis Nwifuru, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, was wrongly declared as governor by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Odoh, in a petition filed at the tribunal, challenged the declaration.

He also prayed the tribunal to hold that at the time of the election, Nwifuru was not qualified to contest because he was Speaker on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) instead of APC, on which he was declared winner of the poll, reports The Nation.

In his final address by his counsel, J.S. Okutepa, Odoh said it was unknown to any law for INEC to declare Nwifuru governor on the platform of APC, while he was a PDP member.

It reads: “Following election conducted by 1st Respondent on March 18, for Governor of Ebonyi State, the 2nd Respondent (Nwifuru Ogbonna), who was at the time of the election, member of Ebonyi House of Assembly on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party and Speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly, and who was not qualified to contest the election, was declared by 1st Respondent as winner of the election.

“The case of the petitioner is that the 2nd Respondent cannot be qualified to contest the election as a candidate of the 3rd Respondent while a member of another political party in violation of the Electoral Act 2022 and 1999 Constitution as amended. Flowing from the principal ground of complaint, the petitioners sought five reliefs as par paragraph 40 (a-e) of their petition filed before this tribunal.

“Upon service of the petition on the Respondents, the 1st Respondent, who should ordinarily be an unbiased umpire and a referee, stepped into the arena and decided to play the role of 2nd and 3rd Respondents, filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection and Reply to the Petition on May 2 in response to which the petitioners filed a Reply on May 15.

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