The Ebonyi State National/State Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, has affirmed the election of the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Frances Ogbonnaya Nwifuru.
The tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Hon Godwin Nwakpuma of the labour party challenging the election of the speaker who was the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the April 11th election.
In a judgment delivered yesterday by the chairman of the 3-man tribunal, Mr Joel Agya the tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegation of corrupt practices which he claimed marred the election.
The tribunal held that the petitioner Mr Nwakpuma could not satisfy the provisions of the extant laws, as allegations of irregularities and non-compliance with the electoral act were not substantiated.
Justice Akya pointed out that none of the witnesses called by the petitioner was able to lead the evidences tendered before the tribunal to any case of fraud during the election.
The tribunal struck out some paragraphs of the petition for being vague and nebulous, and affirmed that Chief Nwifuru as the duly elected member representing Izzi West constituency of the state.
Reacting to the ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Hon Odefa Obasi Odefa commended the tribunal for strengthening the principles of democracy, describing the ruling as a victory for democracy. In a related development, the tribunal has affirmed the election of Hon Julius Nwokpor representing Ishielu south state constituency as the winner of the election conducted in the 11th of April 2015. (Leadership)