September 14, 2015

APC candidate wants Ekweremadu’s election nullified

Enugu – Mr Philip Eze, the All Progressive Congress Candidate in the March 28 National Assembly elections, wants the result of the Enugu West Senatorial election nullified because his name was excluded.

Eze is challenging the declaration of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the Enugu West Senatorial seat by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Eze, through his counsel, Mr Charles Edosomwan (SAN), argued at the tribunal that upon the exclusion of a candidate’s name in an election, the law mandates the tribunal to nullify the election and conduct a fresh election.

Edosomwan while cross-examining the PDP witness, Mr Bethel Onyenyiri in Enugu on Monday, said that the APC had scores for the election but it was no recorded agaisnt any candidate’s name.

The counsel submitted that his client never participated in the election.

“That the APC as a party participated in an election does not mean that my client was listed for the election,” he said.

In his submission, Ekweremadu’s counsel, Mr Tochukwu Odoh, tendered the wards and local government area election results for Udi, Ezeagu, Oji-River, Aninri and Awgu as proof that the APC candidate participated in the election and obtained scores.

Odoh argued that since votes were allocated to APC, it was automatically credited to its candidate and urged the tribunal to discountenance the claims by the petitioner’s counsel.

Onyeyiri testified that the petitioner never campaigned for the election but Mrs Louisa Achieze did and declared the Federal High Court decision as flawed

According to him, INEC provides guideline for the nomination of candidates by political parties and forward the names of such candidates to INEC through its primary election.

“It is not possible for a party to run an election without a candidate.

“I know Philip Eze as a customer to the Election Petition Tribunal; I got to know his victory at the Federal High Court through rumor.

“I do not know his business with INEC and why he was excluded as the APC candidate. The only APC candidate I know was Mrs Louisa Achieze,” he said.

The matter was adjourned till Sept. 15, 2015 for continuation of hearing.