The Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has granted an ex-parte order on Tuesday for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow Prof. Benard Odoh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to inspect all sensitive electoral materials that led to the declaration of Francis Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the governorship election in Ebonyi State.
Nwifuru won the election with a total of 199,131 votes, defeating Odii who scored 80,191 votes to come second, while Odoh got 52,189 votes to come third. The state INEC returning officer, Prof. Charles Igwe, declared Nwifuru the governor-elect, citing his highest number of total votes cast.
However, the candidates of PDP and APGA have challenged the process leading to Nwifuru’s victory by dragging INEC, APC, and Nwifuru to the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abakaliki. The counsel to Odoh and Odii filed separate suits, seeking to inspect the governorship electoral material.
The Chairman of the three-man Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Adekanye Lekan Ogunmoye, granted the ex-parte order, directing INEC to allow Odoh and Odii to inspect, scan, and make photocopies of all the electoral materials in their possession.