In Abia Tribunal sacks council chairman

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice O. O. Agbala, ruled that the petitioner proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.

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The Chairmanship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State capital, on Friday annulled the election of Chief Ifeanyi Isikaku, the Chairman of Isialangwa South Local Government Area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Christian Okeri, in his petition alleged that Isikaku (PDP) did not pay his tax as required by law.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice O. O. Agbala, ruled that the petitioner proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.

Agbala said Isikaku failed to provide evidence of his tax payment for three years as stipulated by law.

He therefore nullified his election, ordered a fresh one and excluded the PDP from fielding any candidate.

Isikaku said that he would appeal at a higher court and urged his supporters to remain calm and law abiding.

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In a telephone interview with NAN, the state chairman of APGA, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, hailed the judgment, saying that “it has helped to restore the battered image of the judiciary in Abia.”

Ehiemere, however, said that the tribunal “should have declared the petitioner the winner and ordered his immediate inauguration since it disqualified his only opponent in the election."

He congratulated Okeri “for his steadfastness and resilience, even in the face of intimidation and attempts to compromise him and make him to withdraw his petition.”

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