From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Tuesday upheld the election of Senator Theodore Orji (PDP) representing Abia Central Senatorial constituency.
Sen. Nkechi Nwaogu (APC), had approached the tribunal seeking the invalidation of Orji’s election, alleging gross irregularities which she claimed characterized the poll.
Nwogu who is the immediate -past two -term senator of the zone also wanted the tribunal to order for a rerun .
But the tribunal dismissed Nwogu’s petition for “non-availability of cogent and credible evidence”.
The tribunal said the petitioner could not adduce any reasonable evidence nor prove her case beyond any reasonable doubt.
Delivering judgement on the suit, Chairman of the Tribunal, Hon. Justice Adeyinka Adebirigbe said “the evidence of the petitioner failed on its own”.
“Practically, there is no evidence the petitioner could rely upon”, he declared.
Meanwhile, the court room was filled to capacity by supporters of both parties particularly the former governor who came to solidarise with him.
Reacting through his Umuahia Liaison Officer, Hon. Ifeanyi Umere, Senator Orji expressed gratitude to God over the judgement which he described as “victory for democracy”.
Orji lauded the tribunal “for delivering a sound judgment “, saying that judiciary has remained the last hope of the common man.
He also thanked his constituents for their steadfast support and urged them not to relent.
Senator Orji, therefore, called on Nwogu to
“see reasons to join hands with him to develop the state”.
Later in a statement by his Legislative Aide, Mr. Eddy Onuzurike, the former Governor said he had always had faith in the judiciary.
He said his victory was a confirmation that the mandate given to him by the people was legitimate.