Photo: Celebration galore as Tribunal upholds Ekwunife’s victory
Barely hours after the Anambra State Tribunal’s declaration, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial seat, Chief Victor Umeh has expressed the desire to go on appeal against the Tribunal judgment upholding the return of Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 28, 2015 election.
This position followed immediately after the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Nayai Aganaba affirmed the result declared by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) that Senator Ekwunife won the poll, noting that from the Tribunal’s calculation, Ekwunife scored 93,300 votes as against Umeh’s 85,898 votes to win the majority of votes cast.
But reacting to the judgment, Umeh through one of his counsels, Obele Chuka Obele, a lawyer said the APGA candidate would appeal against the judgment
In the judgment delivered about one hour at the Tribunal office in Awka, Friday, October 8, 2015, the Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Aganaba dismissed the grounds of petition brought by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for lack of merit.
Justice Aganaba after going through the reliefs sought by challenger and issues canvassed by counsels to the parties in the case, dismissed Umeh’s claim that Ekwunife was never the candidate of the PDP, saying the issue was a pre-election matter.
In a swift reaction to her victory, Ekwunife thanked God for affirming her victory and expressed the hope that she would secure similar victory if Umeh goes on appeal.
Senator Ekwunife described the judgment as a landmark which she said goes to prove that the Tribunal judges are men of integrity. “It is a determination that showed we still have judges with integrity. I won Umeh black and white; today’s judgment also attests to that… If he goes to the Appeal Court, I would still win him.”
While restating that she won Umeh convincingly, Senator Ekwunife said the judgment will give hope to the common man to approach it for redress.
She stated that the three Senators from the State are behind the nomination of Senator Chris Ngige as Minister-designate, pledging that two Senators would ensure he gets clearance at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly over his Ministerial nomination
The tribunal had earlier nullified the return of the PDP candidate for Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Prince Emeka Eze of PDP and declared Dozie Nwankwo of APGA as the winner of the House of Representatives election.
Similarly, APGA candidate for Awka North and South, Godson Ezenagu lost his bid to use the Tribunal to remove the incumbent, Hon. Anayo Nnebe of the PDP.
The Tribunal observed that he approached it with form meant for the Presidential election while he had contested for the House of Representatives seat.
Meanwhile, Umeh has said he would go on appeal against the matter, stressing that the booth by booth result of the election showed that he won the poll convincingly.
From Osiberoha Osibe
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