September 19, 2019

Abia South:  Nkwonta faults tribunal judgement

Abia South:  Nkwonta faults tribunal judgement

By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia

All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA  candidate in the Abia South senatorial poll, Chief Chris Nkwonta, has faulted the judgment of the election petition tribunal which dismissed his petition against Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of the PDP.
Sen. Abaribe of PDP and Chief Chris Nkwonta OF APGA contested the 2019 Abia South Senatorial seat

Sen Abaribe of PDP and Chief Okwonta of APGA

Delivering judgment on the petition, Justice Wasiu Animasaun held that the petitioner was wrong by solely insisting on the use of smart card reader for accreditation during the election, stressing that the use of manual accreditation during the election is also allowed.

In an interview with Vanguard, Nkwonta said the tribunal erred in law when it failed to consider that the fact that the INEC guideline on the use of smart card readers for accreditation of voters, was part of the electoral process.

He lamented that the tribunal also ignored the various cases of over-voting and numerous mutilations results entered in favor of his opponent and expressed hope that the Court of Appeal would rectify the matter.
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“The tribunal erred in its judgment. It ignored the major flank of the petition which was the issue of the use of smart card readers to accredit voters.  The use of smart card readers as an INEC guideline to accredit voters is part of the electoral process meant to ensure the integrity of the system.

The tribunal also ignored the serial mutilation of results across polling units in the zone, especially in Obingwa where my opponent comes from. The question is, if my opponent is popular, why did he have to resort to rigging in his local government?

“Our judicial system must check the issue of desperation among political office seekers.  The issue is that during the election, a candidate will manipulate the system to be declared a winner because he knows that his action will be rendered a fait accompli by the tribunal. This is unfair.  There is no doubt that the Court of Appeal will not ignore such facts.”

Vanguard News