PDP Candidate in Ebonyi Bye Election Plans to Appeal Dismissed Petition Against Tribunal

In the February 3rd, 2024 By-election, Silas Onu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ebonyi South Senatorial Candidate, has declared his intention to challenge the Tribunal’s decision that rejected his petition against the Judges over allegations of bias, injustice, and lack of fair hearing in his election petition.

Following a petition filed to the President of the Court of Appeal and copied to the Tribunal Panel requesting their withdrawal from the bye-election Tribunal by the PDP candidate, the three-man panel led by Justice H.N Kunaza dismissed Onu’s petition citing lack of merit.

During the ruling at the Tribunal in Abakaliki, Justice Kunaza, accompanied by Justice Bassey Bassey Nkanang and Justice M.O Agboola, stated that the PDP candidate failed to substantiate claims of unfair hearing, bias, and injustice in his petition.

Expressing his discontent with the panel’s ruling, Onu announced his plans to immediately appeal, asserting his loss of confidence in the panel’s ability to deliver justice in the election petition.

Questioning why the Panel did not halt all proceedings to await the Court of Appeal President’s decision, Onu expressed, “I will personally address the panel to understand their prioritization of the election petition over me and their failure to suspend all actions to await the Court of Appeal President’s decision. We will challenge their ruling as well. I lack confidence in the panel. They must be replaced for justice to be served in our election petitions.”

Onu’s legal representative, Caleb Onwe, confirmed that they would promptly request the certified true copy of the ruling and analyze it for immediate measures.

On the other hand, Senator Anthony Okorie’s counsel and second respondent, Roy Nweze, praised the ruling but criticized the absence of penalties imposed on the petitioner to discourage any attempts to tarnish the Judges’ integrity.

Nweze remarked, “Even if the tribunal had chosen to recuse itself, that is inconsequential because there are certain cases you wouldn’t even trust your adversary to preside over. The petition is akin to used tissue paper.”

Additionally, APC’s legal representative, Jerry Ezenyi, lauded the ruling as outstanding and flawless.

Ezenyi emphasized that even if the tribunal had opted to recuse itself as requested, he would not have been upset.

He mentioned, “The ruling is faultless and exceptional. The tribunal’s rationale is solid both legally and factually.”

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