By Vincent Ujumadu
ELEVEN political parties and their candidates have filed petitions challenging the victory of the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Professor Charles Soludo in the November 6 governorship election at the Anambra governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Awka.
The petitioners were able to beat the deadline of 21 days as stipulated by the Electoral Act. Secretary of the tribunal, Mr. Surajo Gusau said the political parties filed the petitions between Monday and Tuesday at a time there were no signs that some of the candidates who contested the election would challenge its outcome at the election petition tribunal.
Those whose petitions are with the tribunal include Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who is calling for a declaration that he won majority of the valid votes cast in the said election, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its candidate, Prince Adam Ume-Ezeoke who prayed the tribunal to nullify the election on the grounds that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, used in the election is not contained in the Electoral Act and that the malfunctioning of BVAS disenfranchised over ninety percent of the registered voters.
Also the candidate of the Accord (A), Dr Godwin Maduka and his party called for the nullification of the election on the ground of irregularities, while the United Patriots, UP, petitioned the tribunal on the grounds of wrongful exclusion of the party’s name from the ballot and called for the nullification of the election. Other parties that filed petitions include the Green Party and the Action People’s Party APP.
The three-man panel of tribunal Judges are expected to arrive Anambra State early next week to begin sitting.
Speaking on the development in Awka, the Special Adviser to Governor Wille Obiano on Political Matters, Chief Ifeatu Obiokoye said his party, APGA, was not losing sleep over the petitions.
“We shall take it as it comes and we are not losing sleep over those petitions. We do not lose sight of the game plan of a particular party and its candidate who is sponsoring some lesser political parties to go to tribunal and later withdraw from the suits and collapse into their benefactor at the end of the day. Our party, APGA, won the election and we are prepared to defend our mandate at the tribunal,” he said.