Civil society groups, lawyers flay Appeal Court judgment on Abia
The group in a press conference said the decision, which resulted from the cancellation of results in three local government areas of Obingwa, Isialangwa North and Osisioma Ngwa amounts to disenfranchisement of the masses.
In its statement endorsed by the coordinator and Secretary, Emmanuel Usoro and Okechukwu Victor Ogbonna respectively, the group expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will restore ‘the inalienable right’ denied the people by the judgment.
They argued that the voting strength of the three cancelled local government areas would substantially affect the result of the entire election.
“If the number of votes awarded to the two candidates by the Appeal Court, which is 279,776, and the number of registered voters in the three local governments is 259,222, then there is no way the result of the election in the three local government areas will not affect the result of the entire election substantially.
“Going by the above facts, it stands to reason that the Appeal Court judgment disenfranchising this large number of voters is very unfair, grossly perverse and ought not to be allowed to stand”, they stated.
The group submitted that the judgment even denied the declared winner right to vote for himself, arguing that there is no law that says an entire local government election should be cancelled on account of over-voting, insisting that over-voting did not and cannot occur in 458 polling units in the three local government areas.