The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, the Anambra state capital yesterday affirmed the victories of Senator Stella Oduah and Hon. Valentine Anyika in the February 23, 2019 general election.
While Senator Oduah represents Anambra North Senatorial District of Anambra state, Hon. Anyika represents the Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunikofia Federal Constituency of the state. Both of them were elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Delivery a unanimous decision of all the members of the tribunal in the petition brought by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in Anambra North Senatorial District during the election, Dr. Chinedu Emeka, a former deputy governor in the state challenging the declaration and return of Senator Oduah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the election, the ,Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Esther .O. Haruna dismissed the petition of the APGA candidate for lacking any merit.
The APGA candidate had urged the tribunal to nullify Senator Oduah’s victory claiming that she was not qualified to stand as a candidate in the election alleging that she did not possess valid First School Living Certificate, and, that the election that produced her was not conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and guidelines prescribed for the conduct of the poll.
In a similar manner, another member of the tribunal, Justice Olusola Dare who later read the judgment of the tribunal in the petition filed against Hon. Anyika’s victory by his All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) counterpart, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo held that the Petitioner failed to prove his claims that Anyika was not validly nominated and sponsored by his party, PDP as the party’s candidate in the election.
Hon. Nwankwo in his petition had urged the tribunal to nullify Hon. Anyika’s victory and make an order for the INEC to conduct a fresh election in Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofa federal constituency and exclude the PDP from participating in the fresh poll.
Though none of the supporters of Dr. Emeka and Hon. Dozie Nwankwo who were at the tribunal accepted to react to the tribunal judgments, the Director of Senator Stella Oduah Campaign Organisation, a former Chairman of Onitsha-North Local government, Chief Emeka Iduh expressed happiness over the judgment saying that the decision showed that the Judiciary in Nigeria was committed to the promotion of the country’s democracy.
He stated further that the judgment had proven the overwhelming popularity of the PDP in Anambra state, adding, that the two victories were encouraging signal that PDP would recover the Governorship seatof the state from the incumbent APGA administration in the forthcoming 2021 gubernatorial election.