Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 9 September 2019 | 2,126 times
The Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal on Monday affirmed the victory of the member representing Anambra Central, Sen Uche Ekwunife, and Sen Ifeanyi Ubah of Anambra South senatorial zones.
Senator Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had petitioned the tribunal challenging the process that brought in Ekwunife as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate while the Uba brothers – Sen Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Chris Uba of the PDP – had also challenged the declaration of Sen Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) as the winner of the election in Anambra senatorial zone by INEC.
The petitioners prayed the tribunal to set aside the declaration of the electoral body in the grounds of irregularities and over writing of the results.
In its ruling on the issue of the candidacy of Ekwunife, the tribunal dismissed it as a pre-election matter which does not fall within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
It also ruled that the petitioner has no locus to question the candidacy of Ekwunife at the tribunal noting that Umeh should have approached the Federal High Court on the matter.
The tribunal further said: “Based on the Electoral Act Section 33, the initial candidate of the PDP, Mr Charles Odinukwe, officially withdrew from being the candidate of the party and Ekwunife became PDP candidate within the stipulated time frame for the substitution of candidates.
“There is no evidence of over voting in the said election and that the petitioner failed in law to prove the allegations of over voting.”
The tribunal also dismissed the allegations of the roving collection officer saying that the law can only rely on the results of the polling officials and not an official that is moving from place to place.
On that premise, the tribunal dismissed the petitioner’s allegations on the twenty six polling units in Obosi Idemili North Local Government Area.
On the petition filed against Ifeanyi Ubah the tribunal dismissed all the nineteen witnesses brought by the petitioner adding that the tribunal is drawn to reject the evidences because the prosecution witness 1who relied on the card reader did not prove the allegations leveled against the respondent.
“The evidence of PW1 did not in any way support the submissions of the petitioner and it is clear that the evidence of the witnesses contradicts themselves and the court cannot pick and choose which one it would follow.
“The petitioner failed to prove with the smart card reader which formed the basis of its claims from PW1 and it is here by jettisoned and discountenance because all witnesses anchored their evidences on the card reader.
“The evidence of PW1 did not in any way support or reassure the Petitioner of it claimed victory,” the tribunal stated.
The tribunal at the end of its rulings, upheld that both Sen Uche Ekwunife and Sen Ifeanyi Ubah were duly elected as representatives of Anambra Central and Anambra South Senatorial zones in the 2019 senatorial election.
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