Tony Edike, Enugu; Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin; Austin Ogwuda, Asaba and Peter Okutu, Abakaliki.
Elections of the Governors of Delta, Enugu, Ebonyi and Kwara States were yesterday upheld by the Elections Petitions Tribunals sitting in their various state capitals, thus dashing the hopes of their opponents in the last April general election in the country.
The tribunal sitting in Asaba, upheld the election of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, PDP, Delta State as duly elected during the April 26 polls, even after invalidating results from six local government areas, just as the petition filed by the Labour Party, LP candidate Chief Okay Ezea, challenging the victory of Governor Sullivan Chime in Enugu was dismissed for lack of merit.
In Kwara State, tribunals sitting in Ilorin, the state capital also upheld the election of Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and consequently dismissed the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN Governorship candidate, Mohammed Belgore, SAN just as the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, governorship candidate in Ebonyi State, Senator Julius Ucha failed to unseat Chief Martin Elechi, PDP.
The Tribunal headed by Justice Joy Nwanna, in a four-hour judgement delivered under tight security held that based on available evidence before it and after subtracting invalid votes in six of the 20 local government areas of Delta State that Governor Uduaghan “still has the highest number of total votes cast and equally obtained two-third majority of the votes cast”.
The LGAs where results were declared invalid in Delta incude, Warri North, Warri South, Warri South West, Ethiope West, Bomadi and Burutu. The judge said that after removing the invalid votes from those areas, Uduaghan scored 422,509 votes against the petitioner, Chief Great Ogboru of Democratic Peoples Party DPP, who polled 410,552 votes.
In Enugu, Justice Sunday Otu declared that Ezea failed to prove his allegation of electoral malpractices and irregularities against Governor Chime, who sought re-election on the platform of the PDP. Mohammed Dele Belgore who challenged Ahmed’s election in Kwara lost his case because the tribunal led by Justice Ngozi Emehelu declared that “The petitioners through their witnesses did not establish their allegations in their pleadings.”
The tribunal in its four hours judgment in Abakaliki dismissed the petition filed
Senator Ucha for lack of merit.