Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu has dismissed a petition by All Progressives Congress senatorial candidate for Enugu West, Chief Philip Eze challenging election of Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu, Friday, dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Enugu West, Chief Philip Eze to cut short Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s tenure in the saenate.
Eze had challenged the victory of Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu at the National Assembly and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu.
Delivering judgment on the matter, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Michael Edem ruled that the petition lacked substantial evidence, following which he struck it out.
He awarded a cost of N60,000 in favour of Ekweremadu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the last respondent.
Edem said the petitioner, Philip Eze failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the evidence adduced in trial showed that the petitioner was included and not excluded in the senatorial election which held on March 24, 2015.
“The petitioner remembered to forget or forgot to remember that in law, he who asserts must prove. The petitioner first asserted and must prove. Pleading without evidence amounts to no issue,” he said.
The petition number EPT/ ENU/NASS/SEN/03/2015 had three respondents which included Sen. Ekweremadu, INEC and one other respondent. Eze had petitioned the court over unlawful exclusion in the election.
Justice Edem also held that INEC was not guilty since the commission was not served.
“I hold that INEC was not served. INEC can only know if it was served. Not being served, INEC is not guilty,” he ruled.
The judge stated that he cannot manufacture evidence to help the petitioner win his case, while adding that even the petitioner’s claim of collusion among the respondents lacked evidence and therefore could not be proved.
Though the counsel to Eze accepted the judge’s judgement, they still held that the court refused to adhere to the major grounds of the petition.
– Amah Baldwin