The electoral victory of the member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, Hon. Sam Onuigbo has been upheld by the election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State Capital.
The petitioner, Ikechukwu Apugo had approached the tribunal seeking the nullification of the February 23 House of Representatives election conducted in Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency which produced Onuigbo as the winner.
He claimed that INEC’s declaration of Onuigbo did not follow the electoral guidelines stipulated by the Electoral Act in conducting the national Assembly poll.
Sam Onuigbo and INEC are 1st and 2nd respondents in the suit.
While delivering judgment on Monday evening, Justice Cornelius Akintayo, explained that the allegations raised by the petitioner Mr. Ikechukwu Apugo of the All Progressives Congress(APC) were not well substantiated.
He said the petitioner in his petition before the tribunal, had raised several allegations of ballot snatchings, rigging, manipulation and vote-buying, but failed to substantiate his allegation.
Justice Akintayo argued that since the petitioner failed to present before the court concrete evidence to buttress his allegation, the court will delay in giving its verdict in the way it is supposed to be.
He, therefore, struck out the suit, saying that the petition lacked merit.
Meanwhile, reacting to the tribunal’s verdict which dismissed his petition, Tuesday, Mr. Ikechukwu Apugo, the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate for the House of Representatives, Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency in the last 2019 election, said he will appeal the judgment of the election tribunal.
Martin Apugo said the tribunal was biased in delivering its judgment.
Recall that Mr. Martin Ikechukwu Apugo had accused Sam Onuigbo, the PDP candidate of interfering with the election which according to him, led to massive rigging, vote-buying and violence during the poll.