Tribunal upholds Uzodinma’s victory as Imo governor, dismisses petitions by PDP, LP candidates

The Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja on Friday confirmed Governor Hope Uzodimma‘s election victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The tribunal, with a unanimous decision from a three-member panel of Justices, rejected petitions aiming to invalidate Governor Uzodimma’s election win.

Tribunal upholds Uzodinma's victory as Imo governor, dismisses petitions by PDP, LP candidates
Hope Uzodinma

The Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay-led panel held that it found no reason to invalidate the outcome of the gubernatorial poll as was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

It held that the petitioners failed to by way of credible evidence, substantiate their allegation that the governorship election was not conducted in substantial compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Besides, the tribunal held that it was satisfied that governor Uzodinma was qualified to contest the election. 

Consequently, it dismissed the petitions as lacking in merit.

It will be recalled that INEC had declared that governor Uzodinma of the APC polled a total of 540,308 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who scored 71,503 votes, as well as candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Athan Achonu, who came third with 64,081 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, both Anyanwu and Achonu approached the tribunal to challenge it.

The petitioners, among other things, prayed the tribunal to withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to governor Uzodinma as the winner of the election.

They equally alleged that governor Uzodimma submitted forged West African Examination Council, WAEC, certificate to INEC, in aid of his qualification to contest the gubernatorial poll.

The petitioners further persuaded the tribunal to issue a subpoena to compel INEC to produce and tender some of the materials used for the election

Among documents they requested for, included, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, mahines, certified copies of screen shots of information contained in the BAVS Machines, INEC’s Forms 40G as well as certified copies of the voters registers.

Likewise, following a subpoena that was issue by the tribunal, WAEC, through the Head of Administration at its headquarters, Mr. Omifenwa Tajudeen Tunbosu, produced and tendered governor Uzodinma’s certificate, which was admitted in evidence.

According to the exhibit, the WAEC General Certificate of Education, with certificate No. SG 904497, was issued to the Imo state governor in June 1982.

The tribunal further admitted a certified copy of governor Uzodimma’s confirmation of statement of result dated December 18, 2014, which was previously forwarded to the office of the Senate President, by WAEC, and delivered on January 7, 2015. 

In his oral testimony, Tunbosu, told the tribunal that governor Uzodimma is the owner of the WAEC certificate, even as he confirmed it to be authentic and genuine.

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