Thursday, August 29, 2019 1:12 pm
The Anambra Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka has reserved rulings in the consolidated petitions No. EPT/AN/SEN/09/2019 an EPT/AN/SEN/11/2019/ filed by Sen. Andy Uba and Chief Chris Uba respectively against Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah.
Both petitioners are seeking the nullification of Ubah’s victory in the Feb. 23 Senatorial election for Anambra South Senatorial District.
Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN counsel to Ubah, who adopted and relied on the contents of his final written address on Wednesday, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition as the petitioner had not proven his weighty allegation of non-compliance with facts.
Ikpeazu said the electoral act had not been changed and that instruction on card reader could not supersede the electoral Act provision that Presiding Officers issue voters with ballot papers upon proper identification.
He said the petitioner in EPT/AN/SEN/11/2019/ only produced one polling unit agent as witness when he alleged that there were malpractice in 218 polling units, arguing that evidence of one witness could not be a basis for deciding what happened in other units.
Mr Obinna Adindu, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said their final written addresses was filed on Aug. 17 and adopted same, while also urging the dismissal of the petition.
George Igbokwe SAN, counsel to Chris Uba of Peoples Democratic Party, in his submission told the tribunal that use of card reader in the conduct of election was not mere instruction but enjoys `statutory flavour’ as contained in the enhanced electoral guideline.
Igbokwe said card reader was introduced by INEC to improve on the quality of election, arguing further that that there was no law that mandates a petitioner to produce all polling unit agents as witnesses when they would not assist in pleading.
The petitioners counsel said the result sheets from the polling units were explicit and evident in themselves as regards what transpired.
He urged the tribunal to discountenance the defence and hold that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were meritorious and grant them accordingly.
Justice Thelma Okara, Chairman of the tribunal, reserved ruling on the petition for a yet to be announced date.
The ruling on petition EPT/AN/SEN/09/2019 by Sen. Uba of All Progressives Congress against the same respondent was also reserved.