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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos State has affirmed the election of Francis Nwifuru as the duly elected Governor of Ebonyi State.

In a ruling on Friday, a three-man panel said the appeal filed by Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked merit.


Recall that the Ebonyi Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has affirmed the election of Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC)as the governor of the South Eastern state.

Nwifuru, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 election, polled 199, 131 votes to defeat Odii, who secured 80, 191 votes. While Bernard Odoh, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), came a distant third with 52,189 votes.

Dissatisfied with the election outcome, Odoh and APGA filed the petition marked EPT/EB/GOV/01/2023 against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nwifuru and the APC.

They contended that the APC illegally nominated Nwifuru because he was still a member of the PDP as the speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly at the time of his nomination as his party’s flagbearer.

Delivering judgement on Wednesday, the tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Odoh and APGA on the ground that they lacked locus standi to challenge Nwifuru’s electoral victory.

The three-member panel led by Lekan Ogunmoye held that the issue raised by the petitioners was an internal affair of the APC.

The tribunal also held that APGA failed to appeal a federal high court judgement, which confirmed the Nwifuru’s defection from PDP to APC

Similarly, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor of Kaduna State.

Delivering the judgment on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court held that the tribunal acted in error when it depended on inadmissible evidence to order the conduct of supplementary polls in 22 polling units of four local government areas (LGAs) where the exercise was deemed inconclusive.

The court stated that a key witness called by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the tribunal hearing merely gave hearsay evidence as he was not present when the malpractices he alleged happened.

The appeal court held that the allegations of deduction of votes, stuffing of ballot boxes, and mutilation of sensitive electoral materials made by the said witness were born out of hearsay.

The court also held that the tribunal was right in dismissing the petition of the PDP and Isa Ashiru because the petitioners had abandoned their petition for their failure to apply for the issuance of a pre-hearing information sheet after close of pleadings as required by paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.

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