JUST IN: Nwifuru VS Ifeanyi Odii, Odoh: Tribunal Set to Deliver Judgement on Wednesday
The Ebonyi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has fixed Wednesday September 27, 2023 for the judgment on the petitions filed by Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Prof Bernard Odoh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against the declaration of Governor Ogbonna Nwifuru as the elected governor of Ebonyi State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that due to the various threats of violence against the tribunal and opposition political parties the President of the Court of Appeal ordered the relocation of the tribunal from Abakaliki to the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja where the tribunal eventually sat all through.
There has been an unrelenting wait for the tribunal to deliver its judgement since the adoption of final written addresses nearly two months ago.
The PDP and Dr. Chukwuma Odii had challenged the declaration of Hon. Ogbonna Nwifuru on the ground that the governor was not qualified to have contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the then Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly was still a valid member of the PDP at the time he was nominated by the APC.
In a similar prayer Dr. Odoh of APGA also told the tribunal that the election be cancelled and a fresh one held between the PDP and APGA since the APC candidate was not “qualified” to contest the election in the first place.
Though whoever wins at the tribunal will still have to wait for both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court for the final determination of the true winner of the March 18, 2023 election, the tribunal judgement may further give a pointer to expectations of the contenders.