Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State has confirmed the story making the rounds that he and the people of the state are appealing to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to contest the next governorship election in the state.
He said although the minister has no ambition of becoming the state governor or holding any other political office, the state needed a person like Chukwu who is serious-minded to take over from him.
Elechi spoke with state house correspondents shortly after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
He however said the development was not against the directive of the People’s Democratic Party’s National Working Committee that forbids state governors from endorsing candidates for the next election.
The Supreme Court has upheld the elections of governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state ,Tanko al-Makura of Nassarawa state and Martins Elechi of Ebonyi state.
In separate judgments by the Apex court, the court held that the prove of burden is on the various petitioners and that they have failed to prove that there was substantial non-compliance to the Electoral Act of 2010 as amended in the various elections that brought the governors to power.
A five-man appeal panel of the court, led by Justice John Fabiyi, dismissed the Appeal of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Kwara State during the April 2011 governorship polls, Mohammed Belgore. The petition was dismissed for the petitioner’s inability to prove substantial non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act in 895 polling units across the state.
The Court also dismissed the petition brought by Julius Ucha, the governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Ebonyi State, challenging the judgment of the court of Appeal sitting in Enugu which upheld the election of Martins Elechi of PDP as the validly elected governor of the state.
In the case of Nassarawa state, the Supreme Court judgment also read by Justice Fabiyi stated that the petitioner failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the election was marred by violence, multiple thumb-printing and ballot box stuffing.
The court dismissed the various appeals while affirming the judgment of the tribunals and the appellate courts which upheld the elections of the three governors.