Tribunal affirms Abaribe 4th term bid in the Senate

The National and State election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia has dismissed the petition filed by the senatorial candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA in Abia South senatorial district Chris Nkwonta against the victory of the Senate minority leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe of the PDP.

In a unanimous Judgement, which was read by a member of the panel, Hon Justice Wasiu Animahun, the tribunal said some of the grounds the petitioner relied upon were conflicting, insisting that they should have been consistent.


The petitioner had alleged that going by the total number of accredited voters by the card reader, the results announced by INEC is higher than what is recorded in the card readers.

The Court however faulted the decision of the petitioner to rely on card reader accreditation, and held that the card reader can’t over ride the provision of the voters register in any election.

Secondly, on the issue of invalid accreditation and over voting, the court held that the petitioner failed to present the scores, the one he got and the one presented by INEC to the tribunal.

The court held there was a total of 1091 polling units within the Senatorial district, and maintained that if the figure claimed by the petitioner as “over voting” was removed from the figure which Abaribe was declared winner by INEC, he would have still maintained a reasonable margin of lead over the petitioner with 5,788 votes.

The petitioner, in their relief had made reference to election conducted in 2015, but the court held they can’t choose or determine which relief the petitioner is referring to, as their petition was constantly referring to an election of 2015 while in 2019.

The court also said there’s no provision for amendment of petitions as it was the duty of the lawyers to write the petition of his clients properly and also read it before bringing them to the tribunal.

Thirdly, the petition was struck out on the ground that all the ward collation agents cross examined at the tribunal all agreed that their written deposition was based on what they were told, the court considered them as “hear say”

The court dismissed the petition filled by the APGA senatorial candidate as the petition is lacking in merit.


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