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The victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Solomon Akpulonu, in the March 18 election held in the Obingwa East State Constituency of Abia State was on Tuesday upheld by the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
The Eastern Updates recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Akpolonu as the winner of the election ahead of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Azubuike.
Azubuike, however, challenged the INEC’s declaration on two key grounds.
He alleged that the election was marred by fraud and demanded the cancellation of the votes in 28 polling units in the constituency.
He also claimed that the election did not comply with the electoral act.
Read Also: PDP Clears Air On Abia Tribunal Judge Threats
In its ruling, the three-member panel headed by Justice Abubakar Idris Kutigi dismissed the petition for grossing lacking merit.
The tribunal held that the petitioner did not prove the allegations of fraud and non-compliance with the electoral act beyond a reasonable doubt.
It declared Akpulonu as the validly elected lawmaker in the constituency and awarded N200,000 cost against the petitioner.
In another report, the Abia State PDP has vehemently rejected claims suggesting it’s using intimidation tactics against the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal members.
In an official statement bearing the signature of Abraham Amah, Vice Chairman of the state’s PDP chapter, the party dismisses accusations of threatening tribunal members. They assert that such allegations are a deliberate distraction from their unyielding pursuit of victory.
The PDP, while alleging that the Labour Party (LP) is the mastermind behind these claims, encourages the tribunal to carry out its ruling impartially, free from any fear or pressure.