Abia LP candidate heads to Appeal Court over tribunal judgement

The 2023 Labour Party (LP) candidate for Abia South senatorial district, Chinedu Onyeizu, has vowed to appeal the dismissal of his petition by the Election Petition Tribunal.

The tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, had dismissed Mr Onyeizu’s petition against Eyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for failing to apply for pre-trial contrary to the first schedule of Electoral Act 2022.

Mr Onyeizu had approached the tribunal, challenging the declaration of Mr Abaribe as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Friday that he was not happy with the tribunal’s decision.

“My earlier request for the re-assignment of the case was turned down; so, I was not surprised about the tribunal’s decision,” he said.

He said verifiable records showed that the three respondents were all given the pre-trial notice. INEC accepted, the others did not, he said.

“I’m escalating to the Appeal Court by God’s grace and I’m expecting the court to return my case file to another panel so that they can hear my case based on merit.

“The judiciary is supposed to be the last hope of the common man and I expect that to happen,” the LP candidate said.

The Returning Officer for the district election, Georgina Ugwuanyi, had declared Mr Abaribe as the winner with 49,903 votes, while Mr Onyeizu came second with 43,903 votes. (NAN)