The Ebonyi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) challenging the election of Governor Francis Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on September 27, 2023.
The tribunal, in a unanimous judgment, held that the APGA failed to prove its case of non-qualification against Nwifuru. The tribunal also held that the election was conducted in a free and fair manner.
The APGA had alleged that Nwifuru was not qualified to contest the election because he did not have a valid secondary school certificate. The party also alleged that there were irregularities in the conduct of the election.
However, the tribunal dismissed all of the APGA’s allegations. The tribunal further ruled that Nwifuru’s failure to resign from his position as speaker and a member of the House of Representatives in Ebonyi State, which he won in 2019 on the PDP platform, before running in the primary elections, could not be viewed as a disqualifying factor preventing him from running for office.
Gov. Nwifuru was proclaimed the victor of the election that took place on March 18, by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
Nwifuru defeated Dr. Chukwuma Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who garnered 80,191 votes, by garnering a total of 199,131 votes across the state’s 13 Local Government Areas.
Nwifuru was also given a Certificate of Return as the new governor by the electoral umpire.