Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
The governorship election petition tribunal sitting at Umuahia, Abia State, on Friday affirmed the election of Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of the state.
Ikpeazu represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.
The three-man panel led by Justice Lekan Ogumoye, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) in the election, Dr. Alex Otti, as lacking in merit.
Justice Ogumoye said the petitioners failed to prove the alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Guidelines in 15 local government areas of the state.
The tribunal chairman stated that the petitioners also failed to prove the allegation of over-voting and irregularities during the election
He explained that all the reliefs sought by Otti and APGA were dismissed because they could not prove the criminal allegations beyond doubt, stressing that it was not the duty of the tribunal to investigate such allegations and described the application as unmeritorious.
He said the witnesses called by the petitioners were ward, local government and state collation agents who were not physically present to witness the action as their evidence was based on hearsay.