The Ebonyi State governorship election petitions tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, upheld Governor Francis Nwifuru’s victory in the State’s March 18 polls.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 20, declared Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ifeanyi Odii; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) flag bearer, Benard Odoh, and 15 others.
PDP’s Odii, however, challenged the outcome of the election over alleged fraud and non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the exercise by INEC.
According to him, Nwifuru was illegally nominated by the APC because he was still a member of the PDP as a Speaker of the House of Assembly when he was nominated by the ruling party.
At the proceeding, the three-member panel headed by Justice Lekan Ogunmoye dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
There is substantial material evidence before it which shows that Governor Nwifuru duly resigned his membership of the PDP, the tribunal ruled.
The tribunal held that the petitioner lacked the locus standi to institute the action because the issue raised in the petition was an internal affair of the APC.