Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The immediate past senator representing Anambra Central senatorial district, Chief Victor Umeh, has said that for Nigeria to evolve, there must be strict adherence to the rules governing the country.
He said that was the reason he was at the election tribunal challenging the declaration of his opponent in the last senatorial election, Sen. Uche Ekwunife of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Sen. Umeh who spoke to newsmen at state judiciary complex venue of the tribunal, shortly after the sitting said he was at the tribunal to retrieve “his victory” which he believes was wrongly awarded to Ekwunife by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He stressed that as an advocate of the rule of law and strict adherence to the rules governing the country, he would continue the fight to ensure that the laws of the land were respected and obeyed by all.
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the election disclosed that his petition before the tribunal was hinged on the facts that Ekwunife did not emerge from any party primaries hence, not eligible to contest in the election.
He also claimed that there were incidents of over-voting in some polling units while election did not take place in others.
Recalling that he went to the tribunal on the same issue in 2015, and got judgment at the Court of Appeal after the lower tribunal refused to agree with his argument, Umeh said: “What I have always challenged in my life is disobedience to the laws and rules of this country.
“I have come to court to say Ekwunife did not emerge from any primary process. That means she was not eligible to take part in the election; she wasn’t a candidate. That was my last tribunal action in 2015 and the Court of Appeal upheld my plea.”
According to him, subsequent rulings on election matters tallied with the Court of Appeal decision including the recent landmark Supreme Court judgment on Zamfara State 2019 Assembly and governorship elections.
Ekwunife’s case he further said was even worse because “when the primaries were conducted, she was in All Progressives Congress (APC) where she took part in the primary and her name was submitted to INEC. Ekwunife filled INEC forms and INEC on October 25, 2019, officially declared her as the candidate of APC.
“But one month after, she purportedly withdrew her nomination from APC and then became purported substitute candidate of PDP and she didn’t say she took part in PDP primaries.”
He also said that election did not take place in some parts of Anambra Central senatorial district and yet, INEC declared results in same, just as there were incidents of over voting in several places where the number of votes cast were more than the number of voters shown from result sheets