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Tribunals uphold Umahi’s election, to deliver judgment in Cross River September 4, 5

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The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State yesterday upheld Governor Dave Umahi’s election as governor of the state during the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial poll.

Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate in the election, Chief Ajah Agha had taken Umahi, who contested the election under Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the tribunal.

He had cited unlawful exclusion of his name in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ballot paper, alleging that PDP and its candidate were behind the lapse.

The tribunal’s sitting at the state High Court premises, was presided over by Justice A.B. Abdukarim.

Delivering judgement during the sitting, which lasted for over three months yesterday, justice Abdukarim dismissed PDM’s petition for lack of merit.

He also squashed the case, saying: “PDM failed to submit the name of its candidate to INEC when it was supposed to have done so.”

“Your party sent names three days after closure of submission. Your party also failed to organise primaries to produce a candidate according to INEC’s guidelines, therefore, your petition lacks merit.”

Besides, the Cross River Election Petition Tribunal has set September 4 and September 5, 2019, as judgment dates in some of the cases before it.

Panel one presided over by Justice Vincent Agbata with Ishaku Kunda and Abubakar Bello, as members will rule on 10 cases including the one Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) instituted against Senator Sandy Onor of PDP for the Central Senatorial district.

The panel issued hearing notices to all parties in the matter through their lawyers yesterday.

Also, the second panel chaired by Justice A. A. Babawale will deliver judgment on September 5 in some of the cases before it, but the list of the cases is yet to be released.

The third panel headed by Justice Josiah Majebi handling the governorship election petition instituted by John Owan-Enoh of APC against Governor Ben Ayade has, however, reserved judgment for a date yet to be announced.


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