Appeal court upholds Ebonyi governor’s election

Governor Dave Umahi

The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu on Friday upheld the election of Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, in the case brought against his election by Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Edward Nkwegu.

In throwing out the appeal, the court described the suit as “functionally useless and lacking in merit.”

The Labour Party candidate had appealed the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of Mr. Umahi of the Peoples Democratic Party, as governor of Ebonyi State.

In October, the tribunal in Abakaliki, the state capital, dismissed the petition filed by Mr. Nkwegu, challenging the declaration of Mr. Umahi as winner of the election.

The tribunal had ruled that the petition lacked merit and that the petitioner was unable to prove his allegations.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, the petitioner proceeded to the court of appeal in Enugu to challenge the verdict.

In the appeal filed by his counsel, U.N Udechukwu, Mr. Nkwegu prayed the Appeal Court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, describing the verdict as a grave error of law.

He urged the court to annul the election of Mr. Umahi and order fresh election, saying the election was marred by widespread irregularities.

But counsel to Mr. Umahi, Arthur Okafor, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit.

He said Mr. Umahi was validly elected and that his election complied with the Electoral Act.


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