The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Party, APC, in Enugu State, Barrister Okey Ezea, Monday, discontinued with his case against State Governor, Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as he formally withdrew his appeal pending before the Court of Appeal, Enugu.
The Enugu Governorship and House of Assembly Tribunal had earlier dismissed his petition challenging the election of Governor Ugwuanyi of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for lack of merit but not satisfied by the decision, Ezea headed for the appeal court to continue with his case.
But when the matter came up for hearing before the appellate court on Monday, Ezea through his counsel, Peter Ugwu told the court that he has already filed a withdrawal notice before the court and requested the court to discontinue with the appeal.
Counsel for the respondents, Paul Onyia, raised an objection to the application on the ground that his clients were not consulted, urging the court to compel the appellant to pay a cost of N1million for time wasted.
Respondents in the case were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner, among others.
The five-man Justices of the appellate court led by Justice J.H. Sankey, after due consideration of the submissions by the two parties, struck out the appeal and awarded N100,000 cost in favour of the respondents.
Efforts to speak with the appellant’s counsel proved abortive as he declined comment when approached by Journalists to ascertain the reasons adduced by his client for withdrawing the appeal.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu on Monday nullified the declaration of Senator Gilbert Nnaji as the winner of the March 28 National Assembly election for Enugu-East senatorial zone by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal while delivering judgment in the petition brought by the candidate of the People for Democratic Change (PDC) in the said election and former governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaraoke Nnamani ordered INEC to conduct fresh election in the senatorial zone within 90 days.
The tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition filed by the defeated candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency, Ifeanyi Asogwa, insisting that INEC was right in declaring the then candidate of the PDP, Hon. Ikechukwu Ugwuegede as the winner of the election.
In a swift reaction, Senator Nnaji described the tribunal ruling as the beauty of democracy, noting however that he would challenge the judgment at the Court of Appeal as “there’s absolutely no reason for the conduct nof fresh election in my zone.
“It`s a welcome judgment, it’s one of the things we witness in democratic government. I welcome it. But, let me make it clear that there’s no need for fresh election; we will appeal against it. In the meantime, i want to appeal to my teaming supporters to remain calm. No matter what eventually happens at the appellate court, PDP will still carry the day because, PDP is strong in my zone, in the state and the entire country,” he said.