The Three man panel sitting in Umuahia, on Monday 19th August 2019, struck out the case of Mr. Austin Meregini of the All Progressives Congress [APC] and declared Hon. Chukwudi Apugo of the People’s Democratic Party winner of the election into Umuahia East State Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly.

Making his declaration, Justice Dele Adegbare explained that the petitioner failed to prove any of the allegation of over voting, electoral malpractices and violence which he [the petitioner] said characterized the election, maintaining that because they failed to prove any of the allegation in their petition, there was no need to call upon the respondents [Apugo, PDP and INEC] to defend the allegation.

Justice Adegbare upon dismissing the case for lack of merit awarded the cost of 100,000, 200,000 and another 200,000 in favor of the first respondent [Apugo], second respondent [PDP] and to INEC.

The petitioner, Mr. Austin Meregini had prayed the Tribunal to declare him the winner on the ground that he scored majority of the lawful votes cast during the election.

When approached by Abia Facts News reporter to seek his reaction on the tribunal verdict, Mr. Austin Meregini said that he will make his position known in due cause after much consultations.

Meanwhile, the case between Hon. Dr. Mike Ukoha of the All Progressives Grand Alliance [APGA] and Prince Eric Aso Kalu of the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] has been reassigned to panel 1 to hear the matter afresh.

Speaking in an interview, Counsel to Hon. Dr. Mike Ukoha, Barrister Echezona Etiaba hinted that there was a pre-hearing matter which will be heard on merit as from Wednesday the 21st of August 2019, adding that the petitioners have 5days to present their petition while INEC has 4 days to do the same.

Barrister Etiaba further said that his team took advantage to move their motion for the dismissal of the petition for being grossly incompetent and that the motion was unchallenged and reserved for ruling, stressing that it will also be incorporated in their case.        

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