Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe attended the proceedings of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, on Friday, as anxiety mounted in the state over the likely outcome of the petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Mr. Edward Nkwegu seeking to nullify the governorship election of April 11, 2015 in which Umahi was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor and his deputy were seated throughout the five hours the proceedings lasted, along with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Ogbonna Nwifuru, state and federal lawmakers, among other top politicians in the state.
Mr. Nkwegu told the election petition tribunal that the election of the state governor, Dave Umahi, did not comply with the electoral act as it was characterized by over-voting.
Mr. Nkwegu, popularly known as EDON, stated this in Abakaliki while presenting his final written address to the tribunal.
He spoke through one of his counsel, Edwin Anikwem, who represented the lead Counsel, C. N. Udechukwu.
He said the failure of card readers allowed for over-voting during the election.
Apart from that of Mr. Nkwegu, the tribunal also adopted written addresses of all the parties in the petition.
In his written address, counsel to Governor Umahi, Arthur Okafor, told the tribunal that the petitioner has not proved allegation of over-voting during the governorship election beyond reasonable doubt. He urged the court to dismiss the petition.
The counsel to INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu, in his submission argued that the electronic voting system used in the last governorship election was a new innovation not backed by law and should not be the basis to nullify the election.
After adopting the written addresses of the parties, the Chairman of the tribunal, Theresa Igoche, said the judgment day of the petition will be communicated to the parties later.