Court affirms the victory of LP’s Obi Aguochu

Court affirms the victory of LP’s Obi Aguochu

The tribunal sitting in Umuahia on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Orji, who was the PDP candidate for Umuahia/Ikwuano North/South federal constituency on the February 25, general election against Hon. Aguocha. The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Aguocha the winner of the House of Representatives election after polling a total number of 48,199 votes to defeat Orji, who polled 35,196 votes.

Rt. Hon. Orji was not satisfied with the outcome of the election, approached the tribunal to seek redress. He prayed the court to nullify Aguocha’s victory, claiming that he was not duly nominated as the Labour Party candidate and therefore was not qualified to contest the election. He also told the Court that Aguocha, contested the PDP primary election and lost before joining the LP.

He argued 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. He further stated that there was over-voting in some polling units that gave Aguocha an advantage over him.

However, ruling on the matter on Thursday, the court led by Justice Abubakar Kutigi, rule that the membership of a political party was a pre-election matter, adding that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, which should have been decided before the election. He also ruled that the petitioner failed to prove that the respondent was not duly nominated by Labour Party, as the issue concerning the candidate of a party in an election is an internal party affairs. The court equally struck out the allegation of over-voting against the respondent by the petitioner, saying that he failed to prove it beyond every reasonable doubt.

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The court however dismissed the petition for lacking in merit, adding that it cannot fly. Speaking shortly after the judgement the counsel to the petitioner Mr Obinna Nkume, said his team would review the judgement and decide what to do next.

Court affirms the victory of LP’s Obi Aguochu

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