Law News
Court of Appeal sacks Ekwunife, reverses Nnaji’s sacking
The Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, on Monday overturned the election of Senator Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party, who is representing Anambra Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
The development followed an appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh.
Delivering judgment in the appeal, a panel of the appellate court, led by Justice A. H. Yahaya, held that Ekwunife’s election on March 28, 2015, did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The court ordered that a fresh election be held in the Anambra Central Senatorial District within 90 days.
Umeh had lost to Ekwunife at the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which delivered its judgment in Awka, Anambra State.
Reacting to the judgment, Umeh said the PDP died the moment former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the presidential election.
He added that the PDP rigged the March 28 poll, which the Independent National Electoral Commission declared in favour of Ekwunife.
“PDP died the day Jonathan lost election, they should cover themselves with blanket of shame.
“At the tribunal they were laughing at us, but today, they are covered with shame.
“We would have won the first election but they introduced impunity and recklessness; they used the police, the army to rig the election,” he said.
Umeh said he was sure of victory in the rerun election, although he added that he would write INEC to make sure that the officials who conducted the earlier election were not assigned the responsibility of overseeing the new poll.
He said, “I will write the INEC before this election and I am optimistic that those who were involved in the former election will not be involved in conducting this new exercise.”
In a related development, the appellate court, also on Monday, set aside the verdict of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, Enugu, which sacked Senator Gil Nnaji, of the PDP, who is representing Enugu East Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
The tribunal had, in its judgment on a petition filed by former governor Chimaraoke Nnamani, candidate of the People for Democratic Change, nullified Nnaji’s election and ordered a rerun within 90 days.
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