By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, yesterday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a re-run election for Anambra Central Senatorial District within 90 days.
A three-member panel of the court headed by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe Wilson, gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit that was filed by the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and its candidate, Chief Victor Umeh.
Umeh and his party filed the appeal to challenge the February 29 verdict of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which ordered the inclusion of Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Senator Uche Ekwenife in the Anambra Central Senatorial re-run poll.
Anambra Central Senatorial seat has remained vacant since Ekwunife’s election was nullified.
The Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal sitting in Awka had in their concurrent judgments, nullified the election that produced Ekwunife as Senator for the district in 2015, on the premise that she was not validly nominated.
Both the tribunal and the appellate court directed INEC to conduct fresh re-run election in the district.
Dissatisfied with the verdicts, Ekwunife who was formerly a member of APGA before she defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, took the case to the Supreme Court for redress.
In a verdict on February 10, the apex court struck out Ekwunife’s appeal.
In an unanimous judgment, a five-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by Justice Tanko Mohammed, also gave INEC, the nod to conduct a re-run election for the Senatorial district.
However, INEC anchored delay in conduct of the poll on other pending litigations involving the parties, one of which was disposed-off by the appellate court yesterday.