The Abia State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the state capital, has reserved its judgment in a lawsuit filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the concluded state assembly election, Hon Otuwe Oji Kalu, against the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Hon Mandela Obasi as the lawmaker-elect for Ohafia North Constituency in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Newspot recalls that INEC had, after the election on 19th March 2023, declared Obasi winner after he purportedly polled the highest number of votes.
Kalu emerged second, while the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Okocha Uchenna Onuoha, came third.
However, miffed over the outcome of the election, the candidate of the APC approached the election tribunal with a petition.
Kalu claimed among the reliefs sought in the tribunal, that he should be declared as the rightful winner of the election.
He further claimed that opposition party agents and some INEC ad-hoc staff connived and compromised the process in favour of the PDP.
Earlier, the Abia Election Petition Tribunal in Umuahia adopted the final written addresses of both parties in the case.
Mr Anaga Kalu Anaga, Esq, counsel to the petitioner, asked the three-man panel of the tribunal to enter judgment in favour of the APC as the plaintiff’s claims of altercation and mutilations of the results of the conducted poll in abeyance with disgruntled electoral officers of the national electoral commission to subvert the will of the people.
Also, Mr Chiedozie Ogunji, Esq, the lead lawyer of the PDP candidate, while addressing the state election petition tribunal, told the panel that the petitioner had failed to prove that the results of the recently conducted election were mutilated.
He asked the court to dismiss the petition of the candidate of the APC for lacking merit.
The tribunal said the date for judgment on the post-election suit shall be communicated to the parties.