The National and State Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki on Tuesday, upheld the election of Senators Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central) and Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) who are both of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Street Journal recalls that two Labour Party candidates: Chief Nnanna Elechi (Ebonyi Central) and Chief Peter Oge-Ali (Ebonyi North)had approached the tribunal seeking to nullify the victory of the PDP Senators in the March 28 elections on account of election malpractices.
Delivering judgment on the petitions,the tribunal chairman, Justice John Agya, held that Elechi’s petition lacked merit and dismissed it forthwith.
According to the tribunal chairman, the evidence provided by the petitioner was not strong enough to prove his claims of irregularities in the election to warrant the nullification of the election as prayed in the petition.
The tribunal also held that the petitioner could not prove incidences of electoral fraud at the four local government areas which make up the senatorial zone.
“The petitioner’s prayer for the cancellation of the election is hereby not granted, as the petition is dismissed for lack of merit.
“The petitioner claimed that there were violence, ballot-box snatching, dumping of results among others during the elections but could not prove these claims with the evidence submitted.
“The forensic materials submitted by the petitioner were not submitted on or before the 21-day period stipulated by law,” it ordered.
Also delivering judgment on Oge-Ali’s petition against the election of a former Ebonyi State Governor, Dr Sam Egwu, the tribunal held that the petitioner’s case lacked merit and dismissed it accordingly.
Justice Agya further held that the petitioner depended on the information which he got from the various polling units and failed to prove the alleged irregularities in the four councils which make up the zone.
According to Justice Agya, it was only polling officers who could attest to irregularities, so the tribunal would not depend on the ‘hearsay’ evidence of the petitioner.