The Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on Tuesday granted an ex-parte order, for the independent National electoral commission, INEC, to allow Prof. Benard Odoh and Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii to inspect all sensitive electoral materials that led to the declaration of Francis Nwifuru as a winner.
Prof. Odoh is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP while Francis Nwifuru is the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that, Nwifuru pulled a total of 199,131 votes to defeat Odii who scored 80,191 votes to come second while Odoh got 52,189 votes to come third in the just concluded governorship election that took place in the 13 local government areas of Ebonyi State.
The state INEC returning officer, Prof. Charles Igwe who declared Nwifuru the governor-elect, said he polled the highest numbers from the total votes cast.
Newspot reports that the candidates of PDP and APGA had dragged the Independent National electoral commission, INEC, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the governor-elect, Nwifuru to the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, to challenge the process leading to the victory of Nwifuru in the just concluded election.
The counsel to Odoh, Uba Chukwu Dencency and that of Odii, Adams Uzuakpunwa Obeke Esq, had in their separate suits No. EPT/EB/Gov./01/2023 between Odoh Vs INEC and 2 others, and suit No, EPT/EB/Gov./02/2023 between Odii and ANOR Vs INEC and 2 others, solicited the court to prevail on INEC to allow their clients inspect the governorship electoral material.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the three man governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Adekanye Lekan Ogunmoye, granted the Ex-parte order, directing the INEC to allow both Odoh and Odii to inspect the governorship election materials.
Justice Ogunmoye, however, ordered that the independent National electoral commission, INEC, allow the plaintiffs; Odoh and Odii to inspect, scan and make photocopies for use of all the electoral materials that are their possession.