The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has dismissed the petition brought before it by the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Nnadozie Okpokiri ,against the member representing Ukwa-East/Ukwa-West Federal Constituency, Rep.Chris Nkwonta, noting that it lacks merit.
In a unanimous judgment delivered today Monday, September 11, 2023 by Hon. Justice Solomon Gang-led three-man panel, the Tribunal held that the petitioner; Mr. Okpokiri ,failed to prove that the election was marred with substantial ‘Non Compliance’ in one hundred and ninety nine polling units in the Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency of February 25, 2023 elections as he alleged.
The tribunal further noted that the Petitioner failed to establish the burden of proof of ‘Non Compliance and therefore, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit’.
In his reactions, one of the Counsels to Rep. Chris Nkwonta, Barr. Orji Odochi Orji, hailed the tribunal for upholding the mandate of the people.
Barr. Orji disclosed that the petitioner brought only 15 witnesses from 15 Polling Units, out of the 214 polling units he alleged non compliance with the electoral laws and failed to prove his case in court of law.
Contributing, the Media and Communications Adviser to the Federal Lawmaker, Dr. Chidi Nwankpa, described the judgment as perfect for Ukwa people, adding that it marked the beginning of the consolidation of democratic dividends to Ukwa constituents.
He expressed joy that the mandate, massively given to Hon. Nkwonta by his constituents has been preserved, stating that judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Chris Nkwonta winner of the February 25, 2023 Ukwa Federal Constituency election, with the APC candidate, Mr. Nnadozie Okpokiri coming a distant fourth.
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