The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed a petition filed by Juliet Egbo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Enugu North and South National Assembly Elections, against the victory of Chimaobi Atu of the Labour Party (LP).
Delivering the ruling, the five-man justices unanimously dismissed the petition brought by Ms Egbo for lacking in merit.
Ms Egbo was challenging the nomination of Mr Atu and voters’ intimidation during the election.
However, the three-man panel at the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal in Enugu dismissed the petition in July for lack of merit.
Not satisfied with the tribunal’s decision, the APC candidate proceeded to the Abuja Court of Appeal, which later agreed with the tribunal’s decision.
The appellate court said the appeal was a mere academic exercise and a waste of judicial time.
The judgment has ended the protracted legal battle between the LP and APC candidates in the February 18, 2023, National Assembly election in Enugu North and South Federal Constituency.
Mr Atu was declared the winner of the February elections with over 65,000 votes to defeat a three-term House of Representatives member, Ofor Chukwuegbo of the PDP and Egbo of the APC.
Addressing a gathering of supporters and constituents in Enugu on Saturday, Mr Atu expressed heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering support and trust placed in his leadership by the Enugu people.
According to him, the victory in the courtroom mirrors the collective will and the steadfast commitment to upholding democratic values.
“This judgment has brought to a close the arduous legal contest that has shadowed our shared victory.
“I stand here today, resolute and dedicated to the ideals of my party and the Obidient Movement and the aspirations of my constituents.
“The legal battle, marked by rigorous scrutiny and comprehensive examination of the petition, has ultimately reaffirmed the choice made by the people during the February elections,” he said.
Mr Atu said the Court of Appeal’s ruling “is a testament to the strength of the democratic institutions in our nation and their commitment to upholding the will of the people.”