The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, on Thursday, dismissed the petition filed by the gubernatorial candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Kelenna Obonna against the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The three-man panel of the tribunal also struck out the suit instituted against the governor, by the Action Peoples Party (APP) candidate, Okey Igwe, challenging the declaration of Ikpeazu as winner of the just concluded March 9 governorship election held in Abia state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal while ruling on the two petitions, EPT/AB/GOV/003/2019 and EPT/AB/GOV/004/2019, quashed the petitions over poor representation by the plaintiffs (ADC/APP) in the proceedings of the tribunal.
Counsel to one of the respondents in the matter and the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice,Chief Kalu Umeh, SAN, had asked the court to dismiss the matter, as neither the petitioners nor their legal representatives were in the tribunal.
The panel subsequently dismissed the two cases.
Reacting at the ruling, Barrister Suleiman Ukandu, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, in the state, posited that the dismissal of the petitions was a clear indication that the PDP overwhelmingly won the March 9 gubernatorial election in the state.
He called on the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Uche Ogah and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti, to withdraw their petitions and join hands with the governor to bring democratic dividends to the doorsteps of Abia people.
The politician said, “every living things knows that PDP won the election convincingly. I will advise Uche Ogah and Alex Otti, for the interest and development of Abia state to withdraw petitions.
“If you assess the last election in Abia state, no single soul was lost. There was peaceful atmosphere. The Abia electorates came out and voted according to the consciences. And that their conscience is PDP.
“So, I call on them to support Governor Ikpeazu to enable the Abia South senatorial zone, which our performing Governor hails from, complete their eight years in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness”.
Meanwhile, the tribunal adjourned till 27th day of May, 2019 to begin sitting in the petitions filed by the governorship candidate of APGA, Dr. Alex Otti, and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Alex Otti.