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Enugu House: Election Tribunal Dismisss APC Petition Against LP’s Harrison Ogara


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The House of Assembly Elections petition Tribunal  in Enugu has dismissed the petition filed by Barr.  Tochukwu Ozioko of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against a Journalist, Mr. Harrison Ogara of the Labour Party LP, Representing IgboEze South- state Constituency, for lacking in merit.

Recalled that the three man tribunal, headed by Justice A.M Abubakar, had earlier strucked out the petition of Vitus Okechi, the the peoples Democratic party PDP Candidate for the Constituency against Hon. Ogara, a Journalist turned politician.

The APC joined in the matter , had in it’s petition, filed by her counsel, prayed the court to nulify the election of the làmaker, who is the 2nd respondent on several grounds, including alledged non qualification to vie for the 18, March 2023 House of Assembly election for the IgboEze South- state Constituency election.

The petitioner, had accused Ogara of not resigning his mebership

of the PDP before running for the primary election of the LP, and subsequently main election, insisting that he was not qualified to run for the poll.

The petitioner also claimed that Ogara did not win the majority of  lawful votes  cast during the election, adding that the 1st respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, did not conduct the said election in line with the electoral Act.

Delivering the over two hours Judgment at the Enugu state High Court, venue for the Tribunal sitting on Saturday, the Tribunal resolved four out of the six issue raised for determination in favour of the 2nd Respondent. (Ogara).

The Tribunal, which relied on  Supreme Court judgements in almost all the issues canvassed for determination, held that the petitioner failed to proved it’s allegations against the 2nd and 3rd respondents beyond every reasonable doubt.

On the issue of qualification, it posited that the 2nd  Respondent provided enough evidences marked as exhibits to prove that he resigned his membership of the PDP before joining the LP, just as the 1st respondent, INEC showed enough evidences that she  conducted the election in total compliance with the electoral Act.

After resolving all the issues for determination, the Tribunal, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

It however, declined awarding any cost to the petitioner as demanded by the the 2 respondent, and INEC.

Reacting to the Tribunal  verdict, Counsel to Ogara Boniface Ugwu  Esq, commended the Tribunal for doing justice to the matter, saying it is victory for democracy and rule of law.

“The judges relied on Supreme Court judgments for the quality judgment, and we are indeed happy for that”

He however, urged his client, to use his position to render quality service to the good  people of his constituent who gave him the mandate to represent them at the State House of Assembly.

Also reacting in an interview with Newsmen, Ogara, a seasoned Journalist, thanked the judiciary for upholding the truth by ensuring that justice is served in the matter.

He said “this is victory for democracy, and am not going to take it for granted. I have said it times without number, as nd will keep saying it, for Nigeria to get to her expected destination, we must get our political recruitment process right.

” For  me, it’s no victor, no vanquish. I want to use this medium to call on my brothers who contested the election with me and lost to come onboard and join hands with me so that we can move our Constituency forward.

“Election  and polithinking have come and gone, it is now time to work for my people. And I want to assure my Constituent that I will not let them” Ogara promised.

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