By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—SENATOR Victor Umeh, who contested the February National Assembly election on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, said yesterday that Senator Uche Ekwunife of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who was declared winner for Anambra Central senatorial zone by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was not eligible to contest the election.
Umeh, who is challenging the declaration, said his petition before the tribunal was hinged on the fact that Ekwunife did not emerge from any party primaries and therefore, was not eligible to contest in the election in the first place.
According to him, there were also incidents of over-voting in some polling units in the senatorial zone, just as election did not take place in many areas.
He said as an advocate of the rule of law and someone who believed in strict adherence to the rules governing the country, he had to challenge the outcome of the polls, recalling that he went to the tribunal in 2015 based on the same issue and eventually won at the Court of Appeal.
He said: “What I have always challenged in my life is disobedience to the laws and rules of this country. I have come to court to say that Ekwunife did not emerge from any primary process. That means that she was not eligible to take part in the election.”
Umeh said Ekwunife’s case was even worse than the recent case in Zamfara State because at the time the primaries were conducted, she was still in All Progressives Congress, APC, where she took part in the primaries and her name was submitted to INEC.
Umeh said further that Ekwunife filled INEC forms and INEC on October 25, 2018 officially declared her as the candidate of APC, stating that one month after, she purportedly withdrew her nomination from APC and then purportedly became a substitute candidate of PDP, even when she did not take part in PDP primaries.
Umeh said he was also challenging the election proper, insisting that election did not take place in some parts of Anambra Central senatorial district, yet INEC declared results in those areas.
He also claimed that there were cases of over voting in several places in the senatorial zone, where he alleged that the number of votes cast were more than the number of voters shown from result sheets.