Ebonyi State Tribunal Upholds Governor Nwifuru’s Election
The Ebonyi State Election Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has upheld the election of Governor Francis Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This decision comes after a petition from the opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Ifeanyi Odii. The PDP and Odii had challenged Nwifuru’s election on the grounds of alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act of 2022 and claimed failure to secure the majority of lawful votes. They also questioned his eligibility to contest as, per their claim, he was still a member of the PDP at the time of the election.
APC’s Solid Defense
In response to the allegations, the APC provided evidence that Nwifuru had duly resigned from the PDP and defected to the APC before the election. The party firmly upheld the legality of Nwifuru’s candidacy, dismissing the claims of the PDP and Odii as baseless. This evidence played a crucial role in the tribunal’s final decision.
The Tribunal’s Verdict
In its ruling, the Tribunal stated that issues of nomination and sponsorship are pre-election matters. As such, these should have been addressed before the Federal High Court. The Tribunal thus dismissed the petition and affirmed Nwifuru’s election. The court’s decision has put to rest the dispute over the governor’s election, maintaining the status quo in Ebonyi State’s political landscape.
Repercussions of the Ruling
The Tribunal’s ruling has resulted in mixed reactions. While the APC and its supporters celebrate the victory, the PDP and its candidate have expressed dissatisfaction. They have vowed to appeal the judgment, indicating that the battle for Ebonyi State’s governorship seat may be far from over. This legal tug-of-war is indicative of the high stakes and intense competition in Nigeria’s political arena.
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