The Election Petition tribunal sitting in Ebonyi on Monday declared the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for Ikwo/Ezza South federal constituency, Mr Chinedu Ogah, winner of the Feb.23, 2019 election.
Ogah had approached the tribunal to contest the declaration of Chief Lazarus Ogbee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC).
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sika Aprioku, ruled that from available evidence presented before the tribunal, Ogah actually scored 36, 238 votes.
“The total number of votes scored at Ezza South/ Ikwo constituency include: Ezza LGA: APC- 8, 311 and PDP-17, 139; while in Ikwo LGA, APC scored 27, 927 and PDP-16, 127.
“This has brought the total number of valid votes for the APC to 36, 238 while the PDP garnered 33, 200 votes.
“The petitioner therefore, scored the highest number of lawful votes,” the tribunl stated.
Aprioku also ruled that the tribunal entirely agreed with the petitioner that he scored the majority of lawful votes.
The tribunal ordered that the certificate of return issued to the first respondent by the third respondent (INEC) be ithdrawn forthwith and issued to the petitioner as the winner of the election.
Mr Roy Umahi, Counsel to Ogbee, while interacting with newsmen after the ruling, expressed dismay over verdict, adding that his client would approach the appeal court to overturn it.
Also, Ogah, in his reaction, thanked the tribunal for the verdict, noting that it reflected the true wish of members of the constituency.
“I thank God for this verdict and assure the people of the constituency of effective representation in the House of Representatives,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong