The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State Capital has nullified the election of Hon. Amobi Ogah of the Labour Party, representing Isiukwuato Umunneochi Federal Constituency.
Delivering judgement in the petition tagged EPT/AB/HR/8/2023 on Wednesday in Umuahia, the three-member panel of the tribunal said Ogah did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“How a candidate is sponsored by a political party is both a pre and post-election matter, there is no evidence of giving 21 days’ notice to INEC by the respondent before conducting their primary election.
“No date of primaries was placed before us, no evidence of primaries and the 3rd respondent has always said it’s an internal affair of the party.
“We have tabulated and found out that the results computed by the petition are correct and the results computed by the 1st respondent are dis-countenanced.”
Oga had argued that the acceptance of the ministerial appointment of Onyejeocha as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was a sign that she had abandoned her petition.
But the tribunal in its ruling, dismissed the submission of the lawmaker.
“We are of the view that section 66 is not applicable to this scenario because the petitioner is not a Lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the scenario prohibited by law is a person being a member of two arms of government,” the court ruled.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 28, declared Ogah as the winner of the Isiukwuato Umunneochi Federal Constituency election with a total of 11,769 votes against Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who is the current Minister of State for Labour and Employment, who polled 8,752 votes.
Not happy with the result, Onyejeocha filed a petition before the tribunal, seeking the nullification of Ogah’s election in seven reliefs contained in her petition.