Tribunal affirms Ihedioha’s election, says Okorocha’s son-in-law’s petition, others ‘lack merit’

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Imo State sitting in Abuja, on Saturday, affirmed the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

Delivering judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mallami Umar-Dogondagi, dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.
Nwosu is son-in-law to former Governor Rochas Okorocha.
In a unanimous decision, the three-member panel also struck out  the petition of the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma.

Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance (AA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),  asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The tribunal held that the three petitions challenging the declaration of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) lacked merit.

The petitioners, challenged the emergence of the PDP candidate as winner of the March 9 governorship election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.

The tribunal held that candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu, Ifeanyi Araraume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and  Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to establish their petitions against Ihedioha.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.

Umar-Dogodaji stressed that Uzodinma was unable to prove his allegation that wrongful collation of results by INEC led to Ihedioha’s emergence as winner of the governorship election.

 Araraume and  Nwosu had approached the tribunal to cancel the election on the grounds that the declared winner did not meet the mandatory 25 per cent in two third of the local government areas in the state.

On his side, Uzodimma, approached the tribunal and asked that he be declare him the rightful winner of the election, based on non-inclusion of results from 366 polling booths out of the INEC approved 388 booths in the state.

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