The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has prayed the Elections Petition Tribunal to nullify the election of Chief Chinedu Obidigwe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance as the winner of the Feb. 23 election for Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituency .
Mr Ernest Nwoye, candidate of the PDP, made the prayer in his petition to the tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra.
The petition marked EPT/AN/HR/03/2019 was filed by Nwoye, C.C Ofoegbunam, Maduka Onwuemena, Chikezie Onyinye-Iheazor and Ifeanyi Ifediba.
NAN reports that APGA and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are respondents in the petition.
Obidigwe who ran on the platform of APGA was declared winner with 28,657 votes ahead of Nwoye who scored 9,574 in the election which was contested by 17 other candidates.
Nwoye contended that Obidigwe lied about his age with four different birth dates including Oct. 12, 1981, Oct. 26, 1979, Sep. 29, 1979 and Sept. 26, 1979, his education and his occupation.
The petitioner said Obidigwe was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election and that the execise was invalid by reason of corrupt practices, irregularities and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.
Nwoye said Obidigwe was a public servant who were prohibited from contesting election by virtue of section 66(f) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) (as amended) and therefore was not qualified to run.
“Age is a constitutional requirement for qualification for election into office of House of Representatives under section 65 of the CFRN 1999, 1st Respondent submitted the false information in trying to fulfil the provisions of the section the Constitution with respect to his age.
“Petitioner shall contend that during trial that 1st Respondent submitted false information to the 3rd Respondent in aid of his qualification contrary to the law and should be disqualified.
“As a public servant, 1st Respondent was not qualified to contest the election as he did,” he said.
The petitioner said the election was marred with irregularities including widespread violence, vote buying, snuffing of ballot boxes, inducement of voters to vote for the 1st and 2nd Respondents.
According to Nwoye, the wards affected were Nsugbe 1, Nsugbe II, Enugwu-Otu, Otuocha 1, Otuocha I1, Umuoba Anam, Aguleri 1, Igbariam, Umueri II, Nando III, Aguleri 1, Eziagulu–Otu, Umueze Anam II, Umuoba Abegbu and Olumbanasa Inoma.
“The election witnessed assault of various degrees, burning of electoral materials all sponsored by the 1st Respondent who did not comply with the Electoral Act 2010.
“In addition to the above, the collation of the result by the collation officers was marred with irregularities and were not done in accordance with the law,” he said.
Nwoye prayed the Tribunal to make a declaration that the Obidigwe was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election and order nullifying the election in question.
He said the tribunal should withdraw the Certificate of Return issued the first respondent and order INEC to conduct another election for the constituency with an order that Obidigwe and APGA be disqualified from participating.