The Ebonyi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a unanimous judgment, a three-member panel headed by Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
The three-member panel held that it failed to prove that Nwifuru was still a member of the PDP when he ran for Governor in the March 18 governorship poll.
The tribunal also dismissed the the petition filed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and its candidate, Benard Odoh, against Nwifuru’s victory.
Striking out the petition for lacking in merit, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove that the 2nd respondent (Nwifuru) was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the governorship election.
There is substantial material evidence before it which shows that Governor Nwifuru duly resigned his membership of the PDP the tribunal ruled.
It held that the petitioners failed to approach the proper court to entertain the issue of membership of a political party.
Notwithstanding, the tribunal said it has no power to entertain an issue which took place before the election. However, apart from an aspirant who participated in the primaries of the 3rd Respondent, no other person has the right to challenge the membership of the 2nd Respondent.
In his petition, the petitioner alleged that Governor Nwifuru was declared in error as Governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APGA governorship candidate had equally urged the tribunal to hold that at the time of the election, Nwifuru was not qualified to contest on the grounds that he was still holding sway as Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, instead of the All Progressives Congress, under which he was declared as Governor by INEC.