The three-man National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Anambra state led by Justice Nayai Agabana yesterday affirmed the election of Senator Uche Ekwunife of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP but sacked Dr. Okey Eze as the elected representative of Dunukofia, Anaocha and Njikoka federal constituency election.
Agabana, who read the judgment unanimously adopted by the three-man panel, dismissed all the reliefs sort by the petitioner, Chief Victor Umeh of the All Grand Alliance Party, APGA, for the Anambra Central Senatorial District election held on March 28.
He said that Umeh failed to prove all his cases brought before the tribunal, including that the respondent was not an authentic member of PDP before the election, and therefore upheld Ekwunife’s election.
In her Reactions, Ekwunife commended the tribunal for a thorough job.
According to her,’ It is a determination that we still have judges with integrity in the country. I won Umeh black and white, today’s judgment also attested to that.”
However, Sir Victor Umeh said that he will head to the Court of Appeal to get justice.
He said the tribunal was in error to hold that party primary is an internal affair of the party when the Supreme Court has ruled that improper conduct of party primaries lead to disqualification of a candidate. He said that this led to the disqualification of a candidate in Kogi state.
Umeh also said that tribunal was in error to uphold the figures it used in declaring Ekwunife winner, arguing that there was over 7000 votes difference between the first figure declared by INEC and the figure the tribunal relied upon, and wondered what becomes the difference. “The tribunal has not accounted for the missing figures,” he stated.
On the nullification of Dr. Okey Eze, the tribunal held that it was the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate, Mr. Dozie Nwankwo who won the election.
The tribunal panelists also held that it was the APGA candidate who scored the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election contrary to the figure credited to the PDP candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, upon which the Commission based its declaration of the PDP candidate as winner of the election.
The tribunal therefore nullified the return of Eze as the true winner of the election and directed the INEC to issue Nwankwo with the Certificate of Return as the authentic winner of the federal constituency poll.
Shortly before the judgment, the tribunal had upheld the election of the PDP candidate.

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