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Tribunal upholds Sen. Orji’s election for Abia central

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The National and State House of  Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has affirmed the election of Sen. Theodore Orji, representing Abia Central Senatorial District.
Delivering a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, the Chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Adeyinka Adebirigbe, dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioner failed to prove her allegations of electoral irregularities.
Sen. Nkechi Nwaogu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had approached the tribunal to challenge the election of Orji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for failure to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Nwogu specifically alleged irregularities in 215 polling units in the area during the Feb. 23 poll and urged the tribunal to order a rerun.
However, the tribunal in its judgment held that the petitioner failed to adduce substantial evidence to prove her allegations.
It held that the petioner only called one polling unit agent as witness out of the 215 polling units which, it said, was not enough to prove her case.
The tribunal in dismissing the case awarded N500,000 cost each in favour of Orji, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a reaction, the counsel for PDP, Mr Obinna Nkume, hailed the judgment, saying that it would stand the test of time.
“Even if they decide to appeal, there is no way out because it is a pronouncement based on decided cases,” he said.
Also, the Counsel for INEC, Mr Obinna Azode, said the petitioner “was supposed to call credible witnesses, who would  give evidence in support of her claims.”
LEO/CHOM/USO
(Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Sam Oditah)

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