The National Assembly and State Election Petition Tribunal holding in Asaba, Saturday, dismissed the case filed by Ekpoto Ekpoto Emmanuel of the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the election of Rt. Hon. Thomas Ereyintomi on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 28, 2023 General Election.
The Chairman of the three man panel, Justice Catherine Ogunsola, who read the judgment said while dismissing the case in Asaba that the petitioner’s case lacked merit.
The judge also said that the petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
The panel member further said that the evidence brought before the tribunal by the petitioner is not admissible in the eye of the law.
The Judges said: “The Petitioners failed to call evidence unit by unit and ward by ward to establish malpractice in the election.
“The Petitioner in his pleadings did not demonstrate the discrepancy between the number of accredited voters, the lawful votes cast and how it affected the outcome of the election. Attempt to do this in his Written Address was of no moment.
“The alleged forgery of the 3rd Respondent’s NECO was not established as there was disclaimer from the issuing authority. Besides, no mean could be inferred.”
Each and every relief in the petition as well as the petition itself were dismissed with cost of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) against the petitioner in favour of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents.
Speaking to journalists, Counsel to the lawmaker, Robinson Arhiyo said: “It is victory for democracy and for the electorate, who voted massively for Rt. Hon. Thomas Ereyintomi during the election.”
INEC, on March 2, declared Thomas Ereyintomi, winner of the election having scored 20,155 votes to defeat his closest opponent Omatseye Young Piero of the Labour Party (LP), who pulled 9, 491 votes.