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Ikwuano/Umuahia reps seat: Aguocha wins former Abia speaker, Orji, at Tribunal
By: News Editor
Fri, 8 Sep 2023   ||   Nigeria,

The National Election Peti­tion Tribunal sitting in Umua­hia, the Abia State capital, on Thursday, dismissed the peti­tion filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Chinedum Orji, against Hon. Obi Aguocha of the Labour Party (PL) and member representing the Ikwuano/Umuahia North/ Umuahia South Federal Con­stituency.

INEC had declared Aguo­cha the winner of the Feb­ruary 25, 2023 House of Rep­resentatives election after polling a 48,199 votes to defeat Orji, who polled 35,196 votes.

However, Orji, the imme­diate past Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, proceeded to the Election Pe­tition Tribunal as he was not satisfied with the outcome of the election to seek redress, asking the tribunal to nullify Aguocha’s victory and award it to him.

He claimed that Aguocha was not duly nominated as the LP candidate and there­fore was not qualified to con­test the election.

According to him, Aguo­cha contested the PDP pri­mary election and lost before joining the LP, adding that Aguocha’s name was not in the register of the Labour Party summited to INEC, while there was no notifica­tion to INEC 30 days before the primary election that produced him as the LP flag bearer.

Orji further stated that there was over voting in some polling units that gave Aguo­cha advantage over him.


In his judgement, the tri­bunal, led by Justice Abuba­kar Kutigi, maintained that the membership of a politi­cal party was a pre-election matter and that the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, which should have been decided be­fore the election.

He also argued that the petitioner failed to prove that the respondent was not duly nominated by LP, as the issue concerning the candidate of a party is an internal party affair.

The tribunal equally struck out the claim of over voting against the respon­dent by the petitioner, point­ing out that he (the PDP can­didate) failed to prove that he secured the majority votes beyond every reasonable doubt.

The tribunal however dis­missed the petition for lack­ing in merit.

Speaking shortly after the judgement, counsel to the pe­titioner, Mr Obinna Nkume, said his team would study the judgement and decide on the next line of action.


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