Connect with us


Anambra Central: Ekwunife urges tribunal to dismiss Umeh’s petitions





By Chimezie Anaso

Awka, Aug. 14, 2019 Sen. Uche Ekwunife of the PDPon Wednesday urged the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka, to dismiss the petition filed by Sen. Victor Umeh of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), challenging her election.

Ekwunife made the prayer through her counsel, Jude Nnodum, SAN, while adopting her final written addresses in the petition in Awka.

However, Nnodum said the petition should be dismissed as the issue of invalid nomination which the petitioner raised, did not arise in the two grounds stated in their petition.

He argued that Ekwenife was not returned with lawful votes cast.

Nnodum said the whole argument in the matter was mere academic exercise as the issue of nomination was a pre-election matter in the context of the petition in question.

He said that section 138 (1a) of the Electoral Act is explicit on who is qualified to contest election.

Addressing the tribunal, R.O. Yusuf, counsel to INEC adopted the prayers of Ekwunife’s lawyer, adding that Umeh should be made to pay some punitive cost.

Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN, counsel to PDP said the breaches the petitioners were talking about belonged to pre-election component of the election process as contained in section 285(14)(a,b,c) of the Electoral Act.

Ezechukwu said Ekwunife was nominated by substitution which was provided for the electoral law.

He said Umeh lacked the competence to challenge her nomination because he did not participate in the primary election.

The PDP counsel said Umeh had the opportunity to challenge the perceived faulty nomination by petitioning INEC 14 days after the final list of candidates was published but failed to do that.

He argued that the door for that had closed and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

But in his response, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, counsel to Umeh, said the petition had merit and should be upheld.

Ikwueto argued that elections could be questioned on the grounds of corrupt practice and non-compliance which was part of the grounds of the petition.

He urged the tribunal to read through the petition again and see that non-compliance was the crux of the matter, adding that the Supreme Court had already decided on such matters.

Earlier, Ikwueto had drawn the attention of the tribunal to the fact that part of the records of proceedings on the matter which the petitioners obtained was not reflective of what happened.

Nnodum told the court to stand the observation down as there was no application before the tribunal with respect to that.

The tribunal ordered that issued be set aside for the business of the day which was adoption of final written addresses to commence.

After listening to all arguments in the matter,  Justice Thelma Okara, chairman of the tribunal reserved ruling in the matter for a yet to be determined date.

Okara urged the parties to forward their authorities to the tribunal.

Patrick Anaso: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

Contact US: editor, nnnnews247

$25,000 grant: Niger Hospital lauds South Korean Coronavirus support 3 men docked over alleged theft of N1.9m laptops Bill to restrict ex-electoral officials from contesting elections passes 2nd reading Lagos Govt. dedicates ”Tree Planting Day” to Coronavirus frontline health workers Coronavirus taking preference over other medical conditions- Concerned Nigerians Gov. Bagudu inaugurates committee on fertilizer supply, distribution Oyo Assembly reconstitutes standing c’ttees NAFDAC safety test approval not for efficacy of product -DG Iran’s top court confirms death sentence for 3 demonstrators NASS will engage security agencies to prevent killings in Kaduna — Lawan Drogba’s election hopes suffer serious blow Ondo 2020: Ilaje-Ijaw group unites for Kekemeke Manchester City appeal victory not good for football, says Klopp Blades boss Wilder unconcerned by top-four talks Assembly sets up committee on water shortage in Kano state New Zealand’s opposition party chooses new leader after Muller resignation Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention: Borno, WHO deploy 8,000 community health workers Man, 38, docked over alleged N1.55m fraud Organisation distributes prosthetics to 120 indigents NCDC Protocol Compliance not lockdown, best solution to Coronavirus, says medical expert Tokyo Games likely to be less extravagant, JOC chairman says Taraba NUJ urges govt officials to stop harasment of Juornalists Austrian bans flights from Balkans to avoid imported virus cases Court remands man for allegedly battering policeman on duty Alleged sexual abuse: Court admits Ghanaian to N10m bail Man docked for alleged disturbance of public peace, international insult Schools reopening: WHO official calls for data-based Coronavirus strategies YouTube blocks accounts linked to extremist Identitarian movement Environmentalist ticks out govt. for inability to enforce environmental policies Gov. Okowa, family test negative for Coronavirus – Official Coronavirus: Jigawa Govt. offers tax holiday to SMEs FRSC warns park operators, commuters against violating Coronavirus protocols Coronavirus: Bauchi parents engage their wards in online training to check idleness Coronavirus: Specialist hospital commends union for suspending strike Palestinian baby with heart problems dies after contracting Coronavirus Coronavirus:  Niger Govt. warns residents against flouting directives FUT Minna ASUU holds virtual workshops, seeks more funds for education Farmer, 29, remanded for alleged armed robbery Court remands carpenter for allegedly robbing a Magistrate Rotary club president pledges more services to humanity Coronavirus remains number one public enemy – WHO Nigeria’s bourse simplifies capital market investment with comic book Ondo 2020: Group wants political parties to pick Ilaje indigene as governorship candidates Logger in court for allegedly cheating businessman of N14m Facebook selects 12 African community leaders for accelerator programme FRSC seeks Police, Civil Defense collaboration in Bayelsa Bureau tasks MDAs on financial discipline, accountability in Nasarawa Accident claims 2 lives on Lagos-Ibadan expressway  Commission donates relief materials to IDPs, vulnerable persons in Plateau NGO distributes food items, stoves to vulnerable households in Kaduna