Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s victory at the tribunal has been faulted by his rival, an All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) senatorial candidate in Abia South, Chief Chris Nkwonta.
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, led by Justice Wasiu Animashaun had dismissed the petition by Nkwonta challenging the declaration of Abaribe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the senatorial election in Abia South.
Justice Animashaun, had while delivering judgment in the matter held that the petitioner was wrong by solely insisting on the use of smart card reader for accreditation of voters.
He had stressed that the use of manual accreditation during the election was also allowed.
But Nkwonta, in a chat with newsmen on Thursday in Umuahia, the Abia State capital claimed:
“The tribunal erred in its judgment. It ignored the major flank of the petition which was the issue of the use of smart card readers to accredit voters. The use of smart card readers as an INEC guideline to accredit voters is part of the electoral process meant to ensure the integrity of the system.”
He went further to say, “The tribunal also ignored the serial mutilation of results across polling units in the zone, especially in Obingwa where my opponent comes from. The question is if my opponent is popular, why did he have to resort to rigging in his local government?
“Our judicial system must check the issue of desperation among political office seekers. The issue is that during the election, a candidate will manipulate the system to be declared a winner because he knows that his action will be rendered a fait accompli by the tribunal. This is unfair.”
Indicating he would challenge the ruling of the tribunal he said, “There is no doubt that the Court of Appeal will not ignore such facts.”
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