Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has reacted to his victory at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mallami Umar-Dogondagi, had dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.
In a unanimous decision, the three-member panel, also struck out the petition of the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of AA, APC and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The petitioners challenged the emergence of the PDP candidate on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.
But the tribunal held that they failed to establish their petitions against governor Ihedioha.
The tribunal noted that their petitions lacked merit.
It further ruled that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.
Speaking on Monday at his residence in Owerri, Ihedioha assured his opponents of his readiness to welcome them and close ranks to move the state forward.
“My appeal to Chief Uche Nwosu, Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume and Sen. Hope Uzodimma is to sheath their swords and close ranks for a better Imo state”, he said.
“There is no victor no vanquished. Imo is one irrespective of varying political interests”.
The governor made the call in the presence of former governors Chief Achike Udenwa and Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, former deputy governor Chief Ebere Udeagu and other political leaders in the state.