Tribunal upholds Ekwunife, Ubah’s victories

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The Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka,  Anambra on Monday upheld the victories of Sen. Uche Ekwunife and Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah at Anambra South and Anambra Central Senatorial Districts elections held on Feb. 23.

Sen. Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),
had approached the tribunal challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that Sen Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) won the election.

Also, Sen Andy Uba of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had approached the tribunal challenging the declaration by the INEC that Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) won the said election.

The Petitioners prayed the tribunal to set aside the declaration of the electoral body on the grounds of irregularities and over writing of the election results.

Delivering its judgement, on the candidacy of Ekwunife , the tribunal ruled that the case was a pre-election matter and did not fall within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

It ruled that the Petitioner had no locus standi to question the candidacy of Ekwunife at the tribunal, adding that Umeh should have approached the Federal High Court on the matter.

The tribunal also noted that based on the Electoral Act Sec. 33, initial candidate of the PDP,  Mr Charles Odinukwe officially withdrew from the being the candidate of the party and that Ekwunife became candidate of PDP within the stipulated time frame for the subscription of candidates.

It further affirmed that there was no evidence of over voting in the said election and that the Petitioner failed to prove the allegations of over voting.

On the Petition filed against Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah by Chris Uba, the tribunal said that the Petitioner could not prove the allegations leveled  against the respondent.

The tribunal, however, upheld that the Sen. Ekwunife and Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah were duly elected as winners of the Anambra Central and Anambra South Senatorial Districts elections in the state.

Reacting to the judgement,  Mr Dennis Ezika representing the lead Counsel to Chris Uba,  Mr George Igbokwe, SAN, told journalists that they would be heading to the Court of Appeal to challenge the tribunal’s judgement.

“We do not agree with the reasoning of the tribunal with respect to the evidence brought before it. We believe the petitioner tendered tenable evidence and there are no contradictions.

“I can assure you that we will contest the judgement of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal to protest the reasoning of the tribunal, ” he said.

Also speaking with newsmen,  Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah thanked the tribunal for upholding his victory.

“I thanks God Almighty and I also thank the judiciary for a resounding and unbiased judgement.

“This judgement will spur me to be more steadfast in delivering my campaign promises for the benefit of my constituents,  “Ubah said. (NAN)

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