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Mr. Chinedu Onyeizu, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) for the Abia South senate seat in the National Assembly, undeterred by the dismissal of his petition by the Election Petition Tribunal, has vowed his commitment to pursue an appeal and restoration of his mandate.
Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe of APGA emerged victorious as the tribunal in Umuahia dismissed Onyeizu’s petition on the grounds that he failed to adhere to the pre-trial application requirement outlined in the first schedule of the Electoral Act 2022.
Dissatisfied with the outcome, Onyeizu filed a petition with the tribunal, contesting the declaration of Abaribe as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Friday, he voiced his discontentment with the tribunal’s decision, noting his disappointment with the outcome.
‘My earlier request for the re-assignment of the case was turned down; so, I was not surprised about the tribunal’s decision, ‘ he said.
According to him, verifiable records indicate that the three respondents—Abaribe, APGA, and INEC—were individually served the pre-trial notice. He further stated that while INEC acknowledged receiving the notice, the other two did not, highlighting a disparity in their response.
‘I’m escalating to the Appeal Court by God’s grace and I’m expecting the court to return my case file to another panel so that they can hear my case based on merit,’ he said
‘The judiciary is supposed to be the last hope of the common man and I expect that to happen,’ the LP candidate added, contesting the dismissal of his complaints.
With a clear lead, Abaribe was declared the winner of the seat by the Returning Officer, Prof. Georgina Ugwuanyi, who announced his triumph with 49,903 votes. Following closely behind was Onyeizu, securing the second position with 43,903 votes.