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Tribunal Affirms PDP Rep Victory for Nkanu East/West Constituency - Politics - Nairaland

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Tribunal Affirms PDP Rep Victory for Nkanu East/West Constituency by Nobody: 5:21pm On Oct 10, 2015
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu, Saturday, dismissed the petition brought by the People for Democratic Change, PDC, House of Representatives candidate for Nkanu East and Nkanu West Federal Constituency, Mr. Nnoli Nnaji seeking to invalidate the election of his People’s Democratic Party, PDP, counterpart, Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam.

Ujam, a former Commissioner for Lands in the immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime, was returned elected in the House of Representatives election conducted on March 28, 2015.

Not satisfied with the outcome of the election, his opponent, Mr. Nnaji of the PDC filed a petition at the tribunal urging to invalidate Ujam’s victory.

Delivering judgment in the matter, Saturday, Justice Abba Bello Mohammed of the FCT High Court, who was a member of the three-man panel that heard the petition, dismissed the petition with N50,000 awarded to each of the four respondents.

In the judgment that lasted for about two and half hours, Justice Mohammed said  that several prayers were contained in the petition filed by Nnaji which were struck out during trial leaving only two for determination.  These, he said, centred on whether Ujam was qualified to contest the election on the ground that he did not win in the PDP primaries which produced Princess Peace Nnaji as the party’s flag-bearer for Nkanu East and Nkanu West Federal Constituency.

The tribunal, however, agreed with the exhibits submitted by the petitioner which showed that Princess Nnaji scored 83 votes against  20 scored by the respondent (Ujam) but ruled that he (Nnaji) did not have the right to determine to a political party other than his who should fly its flag and how it should conduct its primaries.

“You cannot build something on nothing  and the law is not a camera of imagination,” Mohammed said.

He held that the tribunal could therefore not nullify the election as prayed as that would amount to interfering in political party affairs more so when the issue canvassed was a pre-election matter.

On the second prayer by the petitioner that Ujam’s victory should be invalidated because of his alleged arrest by the military for being in possession of 4,000 Permanent Voters Card on the day of the election, the tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to produce before the tribunal the impact or the effect of the confiscated PVCs on the election proper.

He said that the petitioner also failed to produce owners of the said PVCs to ascertain whether they actually belong to voters in the constituency in question.

He therefore dismissed the petition and upheld the election and return by the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, INEC of Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam as member representing Nkanu West and Nkanu East Federal Constituency.

Reacting to the tribunal’s verdict, Counsel for the Petitioner, Ike Aroh, told the lower tribunal that his client was not satisfied with the judgment and would therefore appeal it.

One of Ujam’s counsels, Mr. Ikechukwu Onuma, however, described the judgment as sound and a representation of the will of the people that voted for the lawmaker.

Other members of the second panel of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal Enugu that presided over the matter were Justice Matthew Adewara of the Kwara State High Court (Chairman) and Justice Gloria Anulude of the Anambra State High Court.

Tribunal affirms Ujam’s victory as rep for Nkanu East/Nkanu West constituency | Advocate

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