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Appeal Court sacks Nzeribe, affirms Eze’s election

By  Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, yesterday upheld the election of Chief Ayogu Eze, as the duly elected Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial zone at the National Assembly.

The court also ordered the legislator representing Ihiala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, of Anambra State, Mr Chuma Nzeribe to vacate his seat for Mr Vitalis Okafor, whom it affirmed as the candidate fielded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007, National Assembly election.

The court set aside the ruling of the Anambra State Election Petitions Tribunal,  which had upheld the candidature of Mr Nzeribe as the PDP candidate in the election and declared Okafor as the rightful candidate and winner of the election, having been duly substituted by the party to run for the election.

Senator Eze, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media, had his election  nullified on December 11, last year,  following the petition filed by Action Congress (AC) senatorial candidate, Brigadier-General J.O.J. Okoloagu challenging his election.

Okoloagu had alleged that the election was marred with several irregularities, including late arrival of electoral materials, which he said disenfranchised majority of voters in the seven local government areas in the senatorial zone.

The Enugu State Governorship and National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, however, upheld Okoloagu’s petition and ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial zone within three months.

Not satisfied with the tribunal’s ruling, Eze headed to the appellate court, urging it to set aside the ruling of the lower tribunal.


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