*Tension in PDP, APGA as tribunal prepares verdict*
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal
Constituency in the March 28, 2015 House of Representatives National elections, Mr Dozie Nwankwo [pictured above] yesterday presented his written and oral addresses to the elections tribunal sitting in Awka.
He had petitioned the tribunal headed by Justice Nayai Agadagba challenging the declaration of Dr Okey Eze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He urged the tribunal to nullify Dr Eze’s declaration and instead declare him the winner, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast in the said poll.
Nwankwo’s lead counsel, Chief Lateef Fagbemi in his presentation contended that Eze did not score the majority of the lawful votes cast in the election. And that having regards to the plethora of evidences adduced by his client, it was clear that Nwankwo won the election having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election.
He stated that even the respondents including Dr Eze, the INEC and the PDP agreed that a careful computation of the results declared by INEC would show that Nwankwo won. More so, that according to Sec. 2 (85) (5) of the nation’s constitution, his petition was competent having filed it within 21 days after the declaration of results by INEC. He therefore urged the tribunal to declare Nwankwo winner on the fact that he won the highest lawful votes cast.
However the counsel to INEC, Chukwudubem Anyigbo in his final address urged for the dismissal of the petition for incompetence and failure of the petitioner to prove his allegation against the commission.
Counsel to Eze, Chief George Igbokwe urged the tribunal to strike out the petition for lacking in merit and incompetence. He said the evidence led by the petitioner were at variance with his pleadings.
The counsel for PDP led by Chuma Charles Oguejiofor said the petitioner failed to produce INEC’s Form EC8 E2 before the tribunal, which contained the final declaration of results. He also accused the petitioner of abandoning his pleadings and statement on oath, without which the petition fell to the ground, he added.
The final addresses in the matter between the former national chairman of the APGA, Chief Victor Umeh and Sen Uche Ekwunife were also already taken by the panel. And there was tension within the state over the direction the political pendulum would swing as the tribunals prepares to read their verdict.
Chuks Collins, Awka
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