BY FRANCIS IGATA
The National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu,yesterday, dismissed a petition brought before it by Philip Chukwudi Eze candidate of the All Progressives Congress,APC, for Enugu-West senatorial district.
Eze is challenging the victory of Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu at the March 28 poll.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Michael Edem struck out the petition on the basis that it lacked substantial evidence while awarding the total sum of N60,000 in favour of Ekweremadu, the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, and the last respondent.
Edem said the petitioner, failed to undoubtedly prove his case, adding that the evidence adduced in trial showed that the petitioner was included and not excluded in the senatorial election which held on March 28.
“The petitioner remembered to forget or forgot to remember that in law, he who asserts must prove. The petitioner first asserted and must prove. Pleading without evidence amounts to no issue,” he said.
The case with the petition number EPT/ENU/NASS/SEN/03/2015 had three respondents which included Sen. Ekweremadu, INEC and one other respondent. Eze had petitioned the court over unlawful exclusion in the election.
Justice Edem also held that INEC was not guilty since the Commission was not served.
“I hold that INEC was not served. INEC can only know if it was served. Not being served, INEC is not guilty,” he announced.
The judge stated that he cannot manufacture evidence to help the petitioner win his case, while adding that even the petitioner’s claim of collusion among the respondents lacked evidence and therefore cannot be proved.