- Dismisses PDP’s petition
THE Anambra State election petition tribunal sitting in Awka has upheld the election of member representing Awka North at the Anambra State House of Assembly, John Nwokoye, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Charles Okoye, which prayed the tribunal to cancel the state House of Assembly election.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by the chairman of the three-man panel, Justice E.O Haruna, the panel ruled that the petition was doubtful and lacking in merit; adding that the petitioner had failed to discharge the onus of proof on him in all allegations leveled against the respondent and therefore dismissed the petition.
According to Haruna, the tribunal had considered the following cardinal issues for determination, which includes the qualification of the 3rd respondent to contest the election and weather the conduct of the election substantially complied with the provision of the amended 2010 electoral act.
The tribunal had also considered whether the evidence adduced met the standard of law and whether Nwokoye got the majority of lawful votes cast in the election.
Flanked by Justice Olusanya Sunday and Justice Destiny Oko, Haruna said that the petitioner who has asserted has failed to prove and also present another set of result other than that declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), upon which the tribunal may rely.
She therefore dismissed the petition as baseless and lacking in merit after which she upheld the election of the 3rd respondent in line with section 179 (2) of the electoral law.
Nwokoye in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment said the victory is for ndi-Awka North, who stood firmly behind him since his assumption of office.
“The mandate of my people is being upheld. I dedicate this victory to the entire people of my constituency and to God. Today is one of the happiest days in my life; I was not panicking as regards what the outcome of the judgment will be, because I know, I was dully voted for, by my people. I am using this opportunity to extend my hands of relationship to my brother, CharlesOkoye to come let us all join hands together to move Awka North forward. There is no victor, no vanquish. We are all one.”