Tribunal sacks Ebonyi PDP rep, declares APC’s Ogah winner
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chinedu Ogah, winner of the February 23 ballot for Ezza South/Ikwo constituency.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sika Henry, who declared Ogah winner, stated that from evidence presented before the tribunal, the APC candidate scored 36,238 votes in the election, while Laz Ogbee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 33,263.
The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ogbee and present it to Ogah.
“It is the first respondent that won majority of the lawful votes in Ezza South. The total number of votes scored by the petitioner (APC) and first respondent (Ogbe) for Ezza South/Ikwo federal constituency is as follows: Ezza South LGA – APC 8,311, PDP 17,139; Ikwo LGA – APC 27, 927, PDP 16, 127. The total votes for APC is 36,238. The total votes for PDP is 33,316,” the tribunal ruled.
Counsel to the second respondent (PDP), Mr. Roy Nweze, accused the tribunal chairman of bias, stating that he wasn’t surprised with the judgement.“I am not altogether disappointed with the judgement because I expected that it would be this way. We will start drafting the notice of our appeal today,” he noted.
But counsel to the petitioner, Tofa Okweni (SAN) stated, “We looked at the entire result of the election when we reviewed the whole thing and found out that the polling unit results, which form the basis of the election, were not what were collected at the ward level and we filed our petition challenging the result declared by INEC on the grounds that they did not collate the proper result of the election.
What they collated did not reflect the outcome of the election at the polling units. We then asked the tribunal, which has been given power by the Electoral Act, to re-compute the result of the election based on the outcome of the election at the polling units.”
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