Elections Tribunal Upholds Ekwunife, Ubah Victories

Uche Ekwunife

David-Chyddy Eleke

The Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday upheld the victories of Senator Uche Ekwunife and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah at Anambra South and Anambra Central senatorial districts elections held on February 23.

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

Also, Senator 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 Senator 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 judgment, 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.

On the petition filed against Senator 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 Ekwunife and Ubah were duly elected as winners of the Anambra Central and Anambra South senatorial districts elections in the state.

Reacting to the judgment, 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 judgment.

“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 judgment of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal to protest the reasoning of the tribunal, ” he said.

Also speaking with journalists, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah thanked the tribunal for upholding his victory.

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

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