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S’Court upholds INEC declaration of Nwifuru as Ebonyi governor



'Come to our rescue, were dying,' Neglected Ebonyi retirees beg Nwifuru

The Supreme Court on Friday, affirmed the election of Francis Nwifuru as governor of Ebonyi State, and dismissed the appeal by Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the outcome on the grounds of electoral malpractice.

Odii had also contented that Nwifuru was not properly sponsored by his political party for the March 2023 election.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Tijani Abubakar, who led a five-member panel of the court, held that the appeal was always going “to fall like a pack of cards”.

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“It is unmeritorious and is dismissed,” the court ruled.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had in March last year, declared Nwifuru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the Ebonyi governorship election after he polled 199, 131 votes.

Ifeanyi Odii of the PDP secured 80, 191 votes, according to what the commission declared.

Bernard Odoh, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), polled a distant third with 52, 189 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, Odii and Odoh had approached the tribunal, asking it to nullify Nwifuru’s victory and declare them winner.

They noted that Nwifuru was not a valid member of the APC at the time he contested the election.

In September 2023, the tribunal dismissed the petitioners’ petition and affirmed the victory of Nwifuru as the duly elected governor of the state.

The court of appeal also dismissed their appeals and affirmed Nwifuru’s election.


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