BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Imo State sitting in Abuja on Saturday affirmed the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
The Tribunal Saturday dismissed the petition filed against the former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Ihedioha by three political parties – Action Alliance (AA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The parties alongside their governorship candidates, Mr Uche Nwosu, Sen. Hope Uzodinma and Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Ihedioha on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Delivering judgment, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mallami Umar-Dogondagi, dismissed the petition of the candidate of the AA Party, Nwosu, for incompetence.
In a unanimously decision, the three-member panel, also struck out the petition of APC candidate Uzodinma.
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 Ararume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to establish their petitions against governor Ihedioha.
The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.
Umar-Dogodaji stressed that Sen. Uzodinma of the APC was unable to prove his allegation that wrongful collation of results by INEC led to Ihedioha’s emergence as winner of the governorship election.
NAN reports that Sen. Ararume 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, Sen. 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 -NAN.