Court upholds election of Ekweremadu, Ekwunife, Ubah, orders re-run in Abia

Ike Ekweremadu


The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday lost its bid to unseat representative of Enugu West Senatorial District, Ike Ekweremadu, as the elections petition tribunal sitting in Enugu dismissed the petition filed by Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu.

The three-man tribunal held that the former Deputy Senate President was duly elected with valid votes cast during the February 23, 2019 polls.Ibekaku-Nwagwu had after the election, approached the tribunal, alleging that Ekweremadu was not elected by majority of lawful votes cast during the election.

She also claimed that the election was invalid by virtue of non-compliance with the Electoral Act and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines, among other allegations.Delivering judgement, the Tribunal, headed by Justice H. H. Kerang, held that there was an incurable deficit in the petitioners’ prayers.

Also, the Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, upheld the elections Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Democratic Party (YPP).

The tribunal, headed by Justice Ebime Okara in the lead judgment in the case instituted by All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial District, Victor Umeh, dismissed the suit seeking to nullify Ekwunife’s victory on the ground that she was neither PDP’s lawfully nominated candidate nor properly substituted to carry the party’s flag.

Reacting to Ekwunife’s victory, Umeh asked his supporters to remain calm, as he would appeal the judgment. Affirming Ubah’s victory, the tribunal dismissed the petitions filed by Chris Uba of PDP and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for lack of merit.However, the Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State ordered the conduct supplementary elections in some wards of the North Senatorial District.INEC had declared APC Candidate, Orji Uzor Kalu winner, and his PDP rival Mao Ohuabunwa was awarded second winner.

Relatedly, the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau State affirmed the election of Solomon Maren of PDP representing Mangu/Bokkos federal constituency in the House of Representatives.APC’s Danjuma Haruna who contested with Maren in the elections, lost to him but he challenged the outcome at the tribunal.

Haruna had told the tribunal during its proceedings that the election of Maren was invalid without substantial compliance with the electoral act and was characterized by manifold irregularities.He had argued that there was a serious and weighty electoral offence of polling violence, which qualified Maren’s election to be nullified.

Delivering judgement having reviewed the submissions by counsel to both parties, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Theophilus N. Ezeugwu, ruled that the petition failed because the petitioners could not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.In the case of Johnbull Shekarau of PDP who challenged the validity of Komsol Longap Alphonsus of APC’s election, the tribunal dismissed the petition as the petitioners failed to establish their case.

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