[Updated] Imo Election: Tribunal Dismisses Three Petitions Against Ihedioha

Channels Television  
Updated September 21, 2019
Imo State Governor-Elect, Emeka Ihedioha, speaks after receiving his Certificate of Return.


The Imo State Election Tribunal has dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Arareume for lacking in merit.

The tribunal in its sitting today also dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr. Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.

READ ALSO: Imo Election Tribunal To Deliver Judgment On Petition Against Ihedioha

Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),  asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, two of those petitions have now been dismissed.

The governorship election petition tribunal in has dismissed all the applications challenging the victory of governor Emeka Ihedioha for lacking in merit.

But the court is currently ruling on the petition proper.

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC had approached the tribunal claiming that governor Ihedioha did not meet the constitutional requirement to be declared governor and that there was no substantial compliance to the law in declaring him as governor.

The chairman of the tribunal Justice Umar Dogondaji said six preliminary objections were filed in the said petition. All the applications have been dismissed for lacking in merit.

They are now considering the petition in the main.
The petition the chairman said was filed on the following grounds

Senator Uzodinma, therefore, asked for an order declaring him the winner of the Imo state governorship election and an order asking to withdraw the certificate of return given to governor Ihedioha.

Governor Ihedioha on his part asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

The tribunal in the final analysis however held that the evidence of over 50 witnesses is of no probative value since they made their statements in Hausa language and the statements are not before the tribunal.

The tribunal chairman said that Uzodinma called several witnesses and also stood for himself, alleging voting in Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.

He also alleged that his polling agents were not allowed to perform their functions during the election.

The chairman of the tribunal said that Senator Uzodinma had to reform the function of a collation agent for his party because of the situation of the day of the election.

He also said in his witness testimony that he wants the tribunal to set aside the election of the first respondent who is governor Emeka Ihedioha.

The petitioner, however, called 53 witnesses.

It is their evidence that the form EC8A were rendered but they could only see the results of their party the APC.

That the other entries on the documentary they represented were not legible and that they could not identify the name of the presiding officer on the said documents that were tendered by their party.

The start witness according to the chairman of the tribunal stated that INEC did not give them the certified true copy of the form EC8A and the copies tendered were the copies collected by their polling agents which were tendered at their party’s national secretariat.

Meanwhile both second and third respondents in the petition did not call any witnesses and closed their case because those who tendered it were not the makers of the document as such their testimony and the said documents are placed with hearsay and in law when a testimony is laced with hearsay it cannot be given a probative value.