The National Assembly and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, Wednesday, threw out the petition filed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Ohafia South constituency of Abia state, Leonard Eme Umezuruike, challenging the INEC’s declaration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Honorable Ifeanyi Uchendu, as winner of the just concluded March 9 House of Assembly election conducted in the state.
Uchendu, is also the current member representing Ohafia South constituency in the State Assembly.
The plaintiff (Umezuruike), had on 30th day of March, 2019, filed a petition marked, EFT/AB/HA/11/2019, at the National Assembly and House of Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, praying that the tribunal declares him winner of the election in Ohafia south constituency. He said that the defendant(Uchendu) of the PDP was fraudulently declared winner by the INEC Returning Officer in the election.
However, the petitioner,(Umezuruike), on the 18th day of April, 2019 filed a notice of motion to withdraw the matter, excusing that he hurriedly approached the tribunal with the hope of assembling the unit election documents with the result sheets which he was unable to do on time.
He affirmed that after eventually gathering his figures in the result sheets, he found out that the respondent (Uchendu) won the election outrightly, which as a result, led him to withdraw the petition.
In her ruling, the three-man panel of the election tribunal chaired by Hon. Justice A. Aderibigbe, granted the application of the APGA candidate(Umezuruike) and thereby struck out the case.
Reacting in an interview with newsmen at the Court’s premises, the member representing Ohafia South state constituency, and the winner of the State Assembly poll, Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, encouraged every other candidate of the other parties to join hands with him in giving the people of Ohafia south more better and effective representation.
He said, “I am rededicating my victory in the last House of Assembly election held in Ohafia South constituency to God and my wonderful constituents. I’m calling on other opposition candidates to join me in taking our dear Ohafia south to a greater and prosperous heights”.
Recall that Professor Mrs. Elisi Adanma Sabina, the Returning Officer for the State Assembly election for Ohafia South constituency had declared the PDP candidate, Ifeanyi Uchendu, winner of the March 9 House of Assembly poll conducted in the costituency.
Uchendu polled 6228 votes to defeat Leonard Umezuruike of APGA, who scored 4162 to emerge second in the election.