The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Mr Okey Ezea, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the election of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State in the April 11 elections.
Ezea had joined his party, APC, as co-petitioners, while Ugwanyi, PDP and INEC were joined as co-respondents.
Delivering judgment, Justice Hildad Kwajafa, the tribunal chairman, held that Ezea’s petition was incompetent and lacking in merit, and upheld the governor’s election as earlier declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Kwajafa also held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of massive irregularities during the poll “beyond reasonable doubts,’’ and did not sufficiently prove their allegations of over voting and non-accreditation of voters with the card readers.
Kwajafa said: “The six witnesses from six polling units which the petitioners presented out of the 29 pleaded were not enough to prove allegations of malpractice beyond reasonable doubts.
“Enugu State has 2,958 polling units, and the petitioners presented six witnesses to testify over what happened across the entire units, which is insufficient to help their case.
“The failure of the petitioners to tender the voters’ registers to identify the number of voters that participated in the election and allegations of over voting did not also help their case.
“The voters’ register is the only document that can determine the number of voters that participated in an election and the petitioners could not tender it to prove their allegations.”
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, had recently dismissed an interlocutory appeal by the petitioners challenging an earlier ruling of the tribunal.
The tribunal had struck out certain paragraphs of the petition, which were considered as “offensive.’’