By Nnamdi Mbawike, Enugu
The inaugural sitting of the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal of Enugu State held today at the premises of the Enugu Judicial Division of the High Court of Enugu State.
A total of seven petitions were filed by three political parties to challenge the outcome of the November 4, 2017 local government council election of Enugu State.
Three councillorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) filed three petitions, two chairmanship candidates of the African Peoples Alliance (APA) filed two petitions to challenge the outcome of the chairmanship positions for Enugu South and Ezeagu Local Government Councils of Enugu State with one councillorship candidate of APA also filing a petition.
One chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) filed a petition to challenge the outcome of Enugu South Local Government Council election as well. In the inaugural sitting of the Tribunal, the Tribunal headed by the Hon. Justice F. C. Obieze (rtd.) charged lawyers appearing for the petitioners to assist the Tribunal in achieving a speedy adjudication of the petitions filed.
The chairmanship candidate of APA in Enugu South Local Government Council, Barr Chukwunonso Daniel Ogbe in his petition challenged the return and declaration of Hon. Sunday Ugwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the chairmanship position for Enugu South Local Government Council of Enugu State.
In the election petition with number E/2/2017, the petitioner prays the Tribunal to declare null and void the return and declaration of Hon. Sunday Ugwu of the PDP winner of the local government chairmanship position for Enugu South Local Government Council on the ground that he was duly nominated and sponsored by APA, but was unlawfully excluded by Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) as a candidate in the election. Barr Ogbe also prays the Tribunal to order for a fresh election for Enugu South Local Government Council in which he is to participate as a candidate, with the candidate of the PDP, Hon. Sunday Ugwu excluded from participating as a candidate in the election on the ground that Hon. Sunday Ugwu does not have a School Certificate or its equivalent, and that the Certificate which Hon. Sunday Ugwu presented to ENSIEC upon which he ran as a candidate in the November 4, 2017 local government council election, belongs to one Sunday Ugwu of Umuigwe family, Amagugwu Amechi Awkunanaw of Enugu State.
Meanwhile, the pre-election suit filed by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State, Hon. Ikechukwu Daniel Egbo against the Chairman of Enugu South Local Government Council Hon. Sunday Ugwu at the High Court of Enugu State in the suit with number E/632/2017 for the Chairman to be disqualified as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, which was earlier before the Hon. Justice E.M. Egumgbe of the High Court of Enugu State, has been transferred to the Hon. Justice K. I. Okpe of the High Court of Enugu State. The suit comes up for mention on the 17th day of January 2017.