A three-man panel of the House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, and headed by Justice Cornelius Akintoye, has struck out the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress( APC) candidate for Umuahia South constituency, Mrs. Phina Kanu, against the declaration of Barrister Jerry Uzosike, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate, as winner of the March 9 House of Assembly election conducted in the constituency.
Speaking earlier during the sitting of the tribunal on Monday, counsel to the petitioner(APC), Barrister G. Omenihu said, “My lord, a motion of notice to withdraw the petition pursuant to section 29 of the electoral act as amended. The motion was supported with six paragraphs. We are relying on the paragraphs. So, we urge the honorable tribunal to hands off the applications filed before it challenging the victory of the respondent(Uzosike)”.
Reacting, the PDP candidate and member-elect for Umuahia south constituency of Abia state, Barrister Jerry Uzosike, thanked the APC candidate for her decision to withdraw petition instituted against him.
Uzosike assured his constituents of quality and effective representation, but called on the governorship candidate of APC, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), Dr. Alex Otti to emulate Mrs Kanu by withdrawing their petitions against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, so as to enable the governor deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Meanwhile, the APC candidate for Umuahia South state constituency in the just-concluded general elections, Mrs. Phina Kanu, has said she was not financially induced to withdraw her petition against the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Jerry Uzosike.
Kanu said she withdrew the petition based on her inability to meet up the legal fees.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), had declared Jerry Uzosike, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)as winner of the March 9 House of Assembly election held in Umuahia south constituency.
The PDP candidate polled 9600 votes to defeat Mrs. Phina Kanu of APC, who scored 5200 votes to emerge second in the election.