Ebonyi Governor-How Dave Umahi defeated Edon

Ebonyi Governor-How Dave Umahi defeated Edon

The victory of the Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi began with the election proper, then the election tribunal and finally the Court of Appeal.

The Appeal Court in Enugu State held on Friday  reaffirmed the electoral victory of Governor Dave Umahi as the winner of the election in Ebonyi State.

The Ebonyi State Election Petition tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, had in a judgment ruled that Umahi won the last governorship election.

After the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared him winner of the polls in the 2015 election, it could be said that this is the second time Umahi’s victory is being affirmed.

The petitioner and governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Sir Edward Nkwegu had asked the court to withdraw the governorship election result, so as to plan and conduct a fresh election. Despite his arguments, none of his submissions could change the rulings  of the judges.

At the tribunal, the petition of Sir Edward Nkwegu was thrown away for lacking in merit while at the Appeal Court, it was dismissed for being “functionally useless”.

Justice JOK Oyewole delivering the judgment at the Appeal Court on behalf of four other Judges explained that the five reliefs sought by the Sir Edward Nkwegu lacked merit.

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The governorship  Election Petition Tribunal  in Abakaliki had in October this year dismissed Nkwegu’s petition challenging the declaration of Engr.  David Umahi by INEC as the winner of the election for lacking in merit. It also noted the inability of the petitioner to prove allegations of corrupt practices and criminality as stated in his petition.

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In the appeal filed by Chief U.N Udechukwu (SAN) the counsel, Nkwegu appealed for the Court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, which he described as a grave error of law.

Addressing the press at the Appeal Court premises after the judgment, David Umahi stated that

Our learned judges said the appeal was functionally useless. We should  continue thanking God as the Bible tells us that whatever is born of God overcomes the world.

He continued by stating that:

This victory is of God and no man can set it aside. Our detractors have been going about looking for who to bribe. We have confidence in God and the judiciary. Anywhere they take us to, victory will still be ours. They are so ashamed of what we are doing in Ebonyi State and they will  continue to live in shame. I am impressed by the judges; they were wonderful. I thank all our lawyers who defended us.”

Reacting to the victory, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Afikpo South local government area, Barr Eni Uduma Chima described the Appeal Court ruling as victory for democracy.

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With the victory of Governor David Umahi, he is now expected to meet the expectations of Ebonyi people on account of his campaign promises during the last election.

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