The member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State, Chief Obi Aguocha, of the Labour Party has defeated the former Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Orji at the National Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, ABN TV reports.
The tribunal on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Orji, who was the PDP candidate for the federal constituency on the Feb. 25 election against Hon. Aguocha.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Aguocha the winner of the House of Representatives election after polling a total number of 48,199 votes to defeat Orji, who polled 35,196 votes.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, Orji, son of former governor Theodore Orji, approached the tribunal to seek redress.
He prayed the court to nullify Aguocha’s victory, claiming that he was not duly nominated as the LP candidate and therefore was not qualified to contest the election.
Orji, also told the Court that Aguocha, contested the PDP primary election and lost before joining the LP.
He argued that Aguocha’s name was not in the register of the Labour Party summited to INEC, while there was no notification to INEC 30 days before the primary election that produced him as the LP flag bearer.
Orji, further stated that there was overvoting in some polling units that gave Aguocha an advantage over him.
However ruling on the matter on Thursday, the tribunal led by Justice Abubakar Kutigi, ruled, the membership of a political was a pre-election matter, adding that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, which should have been decided before the election.
He also ruled that the petitioner failed to prove that the respondent was not duly nominated by LP, as the issue concerning the candidate of a party in an election is an internal party affairs.