The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for Umuahia East constituency seat in the last 2019 election in Abia state, Mr. Austin Okezie Meregini, has conceded defeat following the Court of Appeal judgment which reaffirmed the verdict of the National Assembly/House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that sat in Umuahia.
The Tribunal had dismissed the suit filed by the APC candidate, challenging the re-election of Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the lawmaker representing Umuahia East state constituency.
The Naija Weekly recalls that Chukwudi Apugo was declared winner of the election held on the 9th of March 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Umuahia East State constituency.
Being dissatisfied with the development, Okezie Meregini (Petitioner), proceeded to the Election Petitions Tribunal to challenge the declaration of the PDP candidate, Chukwudi Apugo. On the 19th of August 2019, the Tribunal upheld the victory of Apugo.
Still not comfortable with the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal, Hon. Meregini proceeded to the Appeal Court Owerri asking the court to look at the evidence on ground and upturn the decision of the tribunal and declare him the rightful winner of the election.
The Court of Appeal, however, upheld the decision of the election tribunal and affirmed the victory of Hon. Chukwudi Apugo.
But, Meregini while addressing newsmen in Umuahia, Abia state capital on Tuesday, congratulated his opponent Honorable Apugo over his victory.
The APC chieftain assured the State lawmaker of his support to help in making Umuahia East Constituency stand out among other constituencies.
The statement read “First, I thank Almighty God for everything thus far. And I have to congratulate my opponent Hon. Chukwudi Apugo over his victory finally at the Appeal Court. Even though I have some reservations over the judgments of the courts, I have no choice than to accept it as the will of God.
“I have a strong belief in democracy and its tenets as the best form of government and I am happy that democracy is strongly evolving in Nigeria. I urge all my supporters to remain law abiding despite the disappointment we have suffered.
“I believe God’s time is the best. I’m willing to render support in any way I can to make sure Umuahia East stands out among other constituencies in Abia State”.