Ebonyi: Why we are challenging Umahi’s victory in tribunal-PDM

The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) says that the omission of the party’s logo and name in the result sheets of Ebonyi robbed the party of its victory at the March 9 governorship election.

The party made this known in a statement by the party’s governorship candidate, Chief Aja Arua, Dr Haron Aja, senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South as well as Messrs Iheanocho Nwugo and Benjamin Ofoke, House of Representatives candidates in Abakaliki.

They said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) erred in declaring Chief Dave Umahi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the election.

They insisted that the governorship election results collated from the wards, local government, senatorial and state levels credited to candidate of the PDP, were votes won by the PDM.

The party which decried the infringement in INEC’s result sheets for the governorship and other levels of the elections said that it would leave no stone unturned in its search for justice.

“The People’s Democratic Movement was among the leading political parties that participated in the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.

“The party fielded candidates in the governorship, three senatorial seats, six federal house of representatives, and for the 24 state house of assembly seats in Ebonyi.

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“The party adopted President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its presidential flag-bearer in the Feb. 23 presidential election.

“We are challenging the outcome of the governorship election which declared PDP’s governorship candidate winner because our great party, PDM was not reflected on the INEC’s final collation sheet.

“The unlawful omission despite our party’s fulfilment of all legal requirements for the election, led to the alleged wrongful inputting of our party’s votes to PDP.

“The party viewed this development as uncharitable and willfully designed to deny PDM victory in the election,’’ they said.

The signatories maintained that the combined votes won by both PDP and APC candidates in the election could not have matched the estimated 400,000 votes won by PDM which were not credited to it.

“Again, we reject the development as electoral injustice because the party’s name and logo which were omitted in the result sheet were contained on the ballot papers for governorship and other levels of the election, except the presidential election.

“We have an unwavering believe in the rule of law and in the ability of the tribunal headed by Justice A. Abdulkareem to do justice in our petition pending before him.

“We are emphatic as a party in our resolve to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and urge our party members to remain steadfast in their support,’’ they added.

The PDM is praying the tribunal to nullify and order a rerun of Ebonyi governorship election won by Umahi of PDP, who polled a total of 393,343 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji of APC.

PDM is the only party challenging the 2019 governorship election in Ebonyi after the withdrawal of the APC and its candidate, Ogbuoji from the tribunal.

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