The National Assembly tribunal sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, has nullified the election of Senator Athan Achonu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Imo North (Okigwe) senatorial district and called for a fresh election in the area.
Annulment of Achonu’s election followed the ruling on a petition filed by the Accord Party challenging exclusion of its party logo from the ballot papers used for the polls.
Delivering judgement in suit No EPT/SEN/IM/2/2015, in which the Accord Party prayed the tribunal to nullify the March 28 Imo North senatorial election, the presiding judge, Justice Garba observed that Hon. Rita Ibemere and her party, the Accord Party, satisfied every precondition for eligibility to stand for the Imo North senatorial election.
He noted that having proven to the tribunal that they fulfilled all requirements for nomination and were duly registered to contest the Imo North senatorial election and that their chances at the election were jeopardised by the wrongful exclusion of their party logo, the tribunal upheld their petition and accordingly nullified the election.
Similarly, the state Assembly tribunal sitting in Owerri yesterday nullified election of Mr Ikechukwu Amuka of the APC representing Ideato South constituency in Imo State House of Assembly.
In its verdict on the petition filed by the PDP state assembly candidate for Ideato South state constituency, Mrs Nkechinyere Ugwu, the tribunal sitting in Owerri on Wednesday nullified the election of the APC candidate.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately issue certificate of return to the PDP candidate for the position.
Justice P.I. Idong, who delivered more than three hours judgment of the three-man panel, affirmed that Amuka presented forged West Africa Examination School Certificate result to INEC to contest the April 11, 2015 election.
The tribunal further ordered the speaker of Imo State House of Assembly to immediately swear-in Ugwu as the genuine winner of the April 11 state legislative election for Ideato South.
Relying on evidences and submissions by the parties, the court noted that the photography on the original WAEC results tendered by Amuka was that of one Kevin I. Amuka who attended St. Peter Claver Seminary, Okpala.
He declared that subjects claimed to have been written by the respondent was doubtful, noting that the respondent failed to prove to the panel that he at the time of the said election was qualified by law to contest.
“After comparing the picture and the physical appearance of the first respondent, it was clear that the picture on the result does not belong to the first respondent.
“With the evidence before this panel, we are convinced that that the first respondent present forged certificate to INEC and therefore lied on oath and should be prosecuted for perjury and forgery by INEC.
“The court also ordered that the majority votes which the first respondent claimed he had scored to win the election be declared null and void, while the said miserable 3,392 votes scored by the petitioner be taken as the valid votes.
“Accordingly, the tribunal orders that the petitioner be issued certificate of return by INEC, while the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly is also ordered to swear-in the petitioner as duly elected member for April 11, 2015 election for Ideato South,” he said.
Speaking to newsmen, Mrs Ugwu likened the judgment to the battle between the Biblical David and Goliath and assured her constituents of quality representation.
Nigerian Pilot, however, gathered that sacked Sen. Achonu has proceeded to the Court of Appeal to challenge his ouster by the tribunal.

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