The House of Representatives Election Petitions Tribunal in Asaba has declared Hon. Solomon Ahwinahwi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the February 25, 2023 election for the Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu Federal Constituency.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Rt Rev (Hon) Francis Waive, as the winner with 42,226 votes, while PDP’s Hon. Solomon Awhinawhi scored 32,391.
In its ruling on Monday, the tribunal disagreed with INEC and declared Ahwinahwi as the winner of the election.
Waive expressed his disappointment and disagreement with the decision in response to the tribunal’s judgment.
He stated that the tribunal ruled that the non-publication of his educational qualifications on the INEC portal was grounds for disqualification and declared his opponent the winner.
Waive emphasized that he had submitted all the required documents, including his qualifications, to INEC as mandated.
He asserted that the failure of INEC to publish his qualifications on their portal was beyond his control, and he had communicated with INEC regarding this matter.
Consequently, Waive has instructed his legal team to appeal the tribunal’s judgment
In another judgement, the tribunal ordered a re-run for Enwhe ward 09 of Isoko federal constituency and directed that the Certificate of Return issued to Mr. Jonathan Ukohdiko of the PDP as the winner of the Isoko federal constituency election should be set aside.
Candidate of the Social Democratic Party for Isoko federal constituency, Mr. Dickson Ebegbare, had approached the tribunal, insisting that Ukohdiko was not duly elected by lawful votes and that no election was held in the contentious ward 09.