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Tribunal nullifies Oguta constituency election

21 February 2013, 16:10

Owerri  - The Imo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri on Thursday nullified the election of Assemblyman Eugine Dibiagwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Oguta Constituency.

The nullification followed the petition filed by Mr Walter Izunwanne of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), in connection with the Aug. 8, 2012 re-run election in the constituency.

Delivering judgment, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice B.G. Sanga, said that the election of the first respondent was null and void.

The tribunal ordered another re-run election in all the 11 wards in the constituency within 21 days.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Aug. 8, election was sequel to an order by the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, which ordered a re-run in four of the 11 wards.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had failed to announce the result of the House of Assembly election in Oguta during the April 2011 general election due to alleged irregularities.

The second respondent, INEC, however, later upheld the results of the election in seven of the 11 wards, declaring the PDP candidate winner in the wards.

Sanga said that election did not take place in all the 11 wards of the state constituency.

He also said that the first and second respondents did not challenge the petitioner’s grounds of petition.

The petition had argued that the declared winner was not duly elected because of the irregularities surrounding the election.

Reacting to the judgment, Mr F.U. Unyimadu, counsel to Dibiagwu, said he was dumbfounded by the judgment, describing it as a miscarriage of justice.

Unyimadu said, however, that his client would appeal the judgment, noting, however, that the Electoral Act provides for a re-run within 90 days not 21 days.

In his reaction, the lead counsel to the petitioner, Chief Henry Akunekwu, said the judgment was commendable.


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