…Seeks nullification of polls over unlawful exclusion
…Accuses INEC of disobeying Court Judgment
By Chris Ochayi
The United Patriots, UP, has approached the Anambra State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Awka to nullify and set aside the entire process of the just concluded November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.
The party is seeking for nullification of the November 6, won by Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, over alleged exclusion of its name and candidate from the ballot paper by the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC.
The UP said that the names of its governorship candidate for the November 6, governorship election, Barr. Chukwudi Ezeobika, the party and the logo were unlawfully excluded by the electoral umpire.
United Patriots, UP, which approached the election tribunal on Saturday, November 27th, claimed it was a duly registered Political Party in Nigeria together with its validly nominated Candidate for the November 6, 2021 Anambra State Governorship election has, by virtue of the subsisting unanimous Judgment of the Court of Appeal which was delivered by its President on the 10th of August 2020, been wrongfully and unlawfully excluding from the just concluded November 6 2021 Anambra State Governorship Election.
The Party, in Petition NO. EPT/GOV/AN/02/21, filed a Petition at the Election Tribunal sitting in Awka to nullify, invalidate and set aside the entire exercise of the 2021 Anambra State Governorship Election on the grounds of wrongful and unlawful exclusion of its validly nominated Candidate as well as the name and logo of the Party from the ballots.
According to the party, “The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu remains in contempt of this subsisting Judgment of the Court of Appeal which reinstated United Patriots and the effects of this disobedience is, in the well conceived view of the Party, an affront on the Nigerian Judiciary and should void the gubernatorial election as conducted.
“The unlawful exclusion of United Patriots as well as its validly nominated Candidate at the election, casts serious doubts on the integrity, legitimacy and transparency of the said electoral process which produced Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA as Governor.
“The failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to relist United Patriots as a duly registered Political Party in Nigeria, as Ordered by the Court of Appeal in Appeal NO. CA/ABJ/CV/507/2020 has the full potential and overwhelming legal effects of lawfully voiding and nullifying the just concluded Anambra State November 6, 2021 Governorship Election.
“The position of the Law and the legal consequence of this disobedience by INEC, is that it has rendered the entire exercise void due to the wrongful and unlawful exclusion of United Patriots and its validly nominated Candidate for the November 6 2021 Anambra State Governorship Election .
“It is pertinent to state that an appeal in law, by virtue of Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, does not operate as a stay.
“In other words, the appeal by INEC against the unanimous Judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered by its President on the 10th of August, 2020, which declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the deregistration of United Patriots, UP, does not and can not be said to operate as a stay of execution of the said Judgement as there exists no injunction pending appeal.
“The Courts in the instant case and in any democracy ought to hold the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in contempt.
“We as a Political Party, remain united in our bid to reposition the Nigerian State to occupy her rightful place amongst the comity of nations.”