The National and State Assemblies Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki on Tuesday upheld the victory of two Peoples Democratic Party senators from Ebonyi State.
The tribunal, headed by Justice John Agya, upheld the elections of Senator Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi Central) and Senator Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi North).
The elections of the two PDP senators, held on March 28, were challenged by the Labour Party candidates: Chief Nnanna Elechi (Ebonyi Central) and Chief Peter Oge-Ali (Ebonyi North).
Agya dismissed Elechi’s petition for lack of merit and said evidence provided by the petitioner was not enough to prove his claims of irregularities in the election.
He said: “The petitioner claimed that there were violence, ballot-box snatching, dumping of results among others during the elections but could not prove these claims with the evidence submitted.
“The forensic materials submitted by the petitioner were not submitted on or before the 21-day period stipulated by law.”
Agya said the petitioner could not prove incidences of electoral fraud at the four local government areas, which make up the senatorial zone.
“This petitioner’s prayer for the cancellation of the election is hereby not granted, as the petition is dismissed for lack of merit,” he ruled.
The tribunal also dismissed Oge-Ali’s petition against Egwu, a former governor of the state.
It said it also lacked merit.
Agya ruled: “The petitioner could not prove that there were irregularities in the four councils, which make up the zone, as he depended on information gotten from the various polling units.
“It is only the polling officers who can attest that there were irregularities, as the tribunal would not depend on ‘hearsay’.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nnanna Elechi is the first son of the immediate-past Governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi, while Oge-Ali is a former member of the House of Representatives.