Anambra Governorship Election: Supreme Court Nullifies Andy Uba’s Participation

Andy Uba

 

The Supreme Court has nullified the participation of Andy Uba as a candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship held in Anambra State.

In a Judgement, a five-member panel of the court held that the APC breach its guidelines for the conduct of primaries and thus, failed to conduct a valid primary from which Uba emerged as the party’s candidate in the Anambra governorship election.

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The Supreme Court also affirmed the February 23, judgement of the court of Appeal, which was upheld on December 20, 2021, by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The apex court proceeded to dismiss the appeals filed by Andy Uba and the APC.

In the December 20, 2021 judgment, Justice Ekwo held among others that Uba was never a candidate in the election held on November 6, 2021, having emerged from an illegally conducted primary election held by the APC.

Justice Ekwo equally ordered the APC to refund to the plaintiff N22.5 million which he paid for expression of interest and nomination forms since the party failed to conduct a valid primary. Andy Uba had emerged as the candidate as the APC’s candidate at the primary election held on June 26, 2021.

But in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election, challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election.

Moghalu contended that the APC did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the APC’s regulations and guidelines in the conduct of its governorship primary in Anambra State.

The November 6 election was won by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo.

Anambra Governorship Election: Appeal Court Dismisses Andy Uba’s Suit

Court To Decide Certificate Case Against Buhari Today
A file photo of the Court of Appeal in Abuja

 

The Court of Appeal, Abuja on Wednesday upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court which set aside the candidacy of Andy Uba as the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recent governorship election in Anambra State.

In a unanimous Judgement delivered by Justice Danlami Zenchi, the appellate court dismissed the appeals brought by Andy Uba and the APC against the judgment of the trial court for lack of merit.

Justice Zenchi held that the panel considered all the issues raised by the appellants in the two appeals and resolved all the issues against them. The court agreed with the submissions of the counsel to Moghalu, Chris Uche, dismissed the appeals, and affirmed the decision of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court delivered on December 20, last year.

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Justice Inyang Ekwo, of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, had in his judgment that was been challenged at the Court of Appeal, held that Uba was never a candidate in the poll having emerged from an illegally conducted primary election by the APC.

Ekwo held that the plaintiff, George Moghalu, succeeded in proving that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election which Mr Uba claimed to have won as the party’s flag bearer in the November 6, 2021 election. Consequently, he ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete Uba’s name from its record as a candidate in the election.

Justice Ekwo equally ordered the APC to refund to the plaintiff N22.5 million he paid for expression of interest and nomination forms since the party failed to conduct a valid primary. Andy Uba had emerged as the candidate as the APC’s candidate at the primary election held on June 26, 2021.

But in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election, challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election.

Moghalu contended that the APC did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the APC’s regulations and guidelines in the conduct of its governorship primary in Anambra State.

Meanwhile, the November 6 election has since been won by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, who was inaugurated in March.

In the suit, Moghalu urged the court to determine whether a political party that fails to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act (2010), the party’s constitution, and its guideline, can validly field a candidate for the election.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Chris Uche, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), informed the court that his client’s grouse was that the “so-called primary election”, which produced Mr Uba as APC’s candidate for the Anambra governorship poll, breached the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.

In his arguments, Uche referenced a report by officials of the INEC which allegedly declared that the primary election did not take place up till 5.30 p.m. when its officials left the primary election venue.

This report, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, corroborates his client’s claim that the APC did not hold a valid primary in Anambra State. He prayed the court to declare that, by virtue of the APC’s alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the party’s regulations and guidelines in the conduct of its primary in Anambra State, Uba “is not a candidate at the said 6th November 2021 gubernatorial election or at any subsequent postponement”.

The plaintiff equally asked the court to declare that the APC was bound to comply with all the relevant legal provisions in the conduct of its primary election after having demanded and received N22.5 million from him and 13 other aspirants.

He also asked the court to, among others, declare that having allegedly failed to comply with the relevant applicable laws, the APC had no candidate for the governorship election. He, therefore, urged the court to order the party to refund the N22.5 million he paid for the expression of interest and nomination forms.

Furthermore, he asked the court to grant a perpetual injunction to restrain Mr Uba from parading himself as the candidate of the APC in the (then) forthcoming election.

“An order of mandatory injunction compelling INEC to delist the APC and Uba from the list of political parties and candidates for the election,” Moghalu added.

Anambra Election: UK Congratulates Soludo, Hails INEC

A file photo combination of British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing and Anambra Governor-Elect, Charles Soludo.
A file photo combination of British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing and Anambra Governor-Elect, Charles Soludo.

 

The United Kingdom has congratulated Professor Charles Soludo on his emergence as winner of the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

This felicitation was contained in a British High Commission statement titled, “‘UK Statement On Anambra Governorship Election”.

In its official reaction to the poll, the UK also hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), noting that the election results released early on Wednesday are consistent with the results obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process carried out by YIAGA Africa.

READ ALSO: Soludo Celebrates Victory, Says It Reflects The People’s Will

Speaking after the election, the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, said, “Credible and inclusive elections are fundamental to Nigeria’s democratic growth”.

The UK further encouraged INEC and all stakeholders to continue improving the electoral system and to ensure meaningful participation of young people, women and citizens generally in the democratic process.

 

Below is the full statement as put out by the British High Commission in Abuja.

“We offer our congratulations to Prof. Charles Soludo who has been declared winner of the Anambra State governorship election. We note that the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission are consistent with the results obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process carried out by YIAGA Africa.

“Our mission, which observed the preparations for the poll, acknowledges the collective effort of stakeholders in the conduct of the election. The people of Anambra have demonstrated resilience and a commitment to democracy.

“We recognise that independent Nigerian voices have expressed concerns about the conduct of the electoral process, in particular around logistics, accreditation of voters, deployment of polling officials, and low voter turnout. The UK is encouraged by the use and transparency of INEC’s result viewing portal in the electoral process.

“We encourage any party or individual who is dissatisfied with the process to seek redress in a peaceful manner and through the appropriate legal channels.

“As a long-standing partner of the Nigerian people, the UK will continue to support Nigeria and its civil society in drawing lessons from these elections and the deepening of its democracy, including the integrity of its elections.”

Buhari Congratulates Soludo, Urges Him To Tackle Challenges In Anambra, South East

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, as he emerged winner in the gubernatorial election in Anambra State, saying that he looks forward to working with him.

The President also called on the governor-elect, who is a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee, to rally other stakeholders to tackle the enormous challenges confronting the state and the Southeast in general.

He said this in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Read Also: ‘Let’s Take Anambra To The Moon’: Soludo Hands Olive Branch To Other Contestants

“President Buhari enjoins Prof. Soludo, member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee, to rally other stakeholders to tackle the enormous challenges confronting the State and the Southeast in general.

“The President looks forward to working with the incoming governor for the peace, security and development of not only Anambra State, but the entire country,” the statement read in part.

President Buhari also praised the security agencies for their determination in ensuring that the election went on as smoothly as possible, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the successful conclusion of the exercise despite the initial challenges encountered.

The 61-year-old former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, swept to victory after he secured 112,229 votes from 19 of the 21 LGAs – twice more than his closest rival – PDP’s Valentine Ozigbo.

Ozigbo had 53,807 votes while the other two frontline contenders –  Andy Uba and Ifeanyi Ubah scored 43,285 and 21,261 votes respectively.

Announcing the result of the keenly contested election in the wee hours of Wednesday, INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Professor Florence Obi, said: “that Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected”.

VIDEO: Soludo Celebrates Victory, Says It Reflects The People’s Will

 

Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, has reacted to his victory in the Anambra State governorship election.

Giving his acceptance speech on Wednesday shortly after he was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the governor-elect described the feat as the will of God.

“Let me say that with utmost humility and gratitude to God, I accept the result of the 2021 Anambra governorship election, as declared by INEC,” said Soludo who contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“And this reflects the supreme will of the Almighty God and the overwhelming sacred mandate of the people.”

He thanked his wife and children for encouraging him despite their reservations at some point, saying his victory in the election was a result of his perseverance in the last 12 years.

READ ALSOCharles Soludo Wins Anambra Governorship Election

A screenshot taken on November 10, 2021, shows Anambra Governor-Elect, Charles Soludo, after he was declared the winner of the election.

 

The former CBN governor also thanked the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano; the leadership of APGA, party faithful, as well as the residents of the state for their love and support all through the events that lead to his victory in the poll.

While remembering the three policemen killed by gunmen in the period of the campaign, he extended a hand of fellowship to his co-contenders in the election to move the state forward.

Almost four days after the keenly contested election and a supplementary poll that ensued, INEC finally returned Soludo elected as the winner.

“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” said INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Professor Florence Obi.

He swept to victory in the election, winning 19 of the 21 local government areas of the state, while the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (Mr Valentine Ozigbo) and Young Progressives Party (Senator Ifeanyi Ubah) each won a local government.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, could not win any local government in the election.

Soludo, 61, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, secured 112,229 votes, twice more than his closes rival – PDP’s Ozigbo who polled 53,807 votes.

The other two frontline contenders – Uba and Ubah scored 43,285 and 21,261 votes respectively.

Anambra Governorship: Umeh Confident Of APGA’s Chances Of Victory In Ihiala Poll

Former APGA Chairman, Victor Umeh speaks on the supplementary election in the state.

 

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is confident of victory in the Anambra State supplementary election slated for Tuesday.

On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the collation of results for the Anambra State governorship election, announcing that a supplementary election would be conducted in the 326 polling units across Ihiala on Tuesday.

Speaking to Channels Television, former APGA National Chairman, Victor Umeh said the results so far declared are a reflection of the love of the people for the party.

“We are exceedingly happy and very grateful to the electorates in Anambra State. Election took place in 20 local governments, APGA won in 18 out of 20,” he said.

“You can see the level of confidence reposed on this party by the people of Anambra State. One can only be happy.”

While noting that victory delayed is not denied, the APGA chieftain said the ruling party is very comfortable and has nothing to worry about in the state.

He explained that the party has met the constitutional requirement of having 25 percent in 14 local governments in the state, adding that APGA can’t wait to maintain its winning streak.

The APGA chief however condemned the attitude of the opposition parties in the state – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – noting that it is not the way to promote democracy.

Making reference to the peace accord signed by all political parties hours to the conduct of the election, Umeh berated parties for not conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.

Anambra Poll: Supplementary Election To Take Place In Ihiala LGA On Tuesday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Tuesday, November 9 for a supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Returning Officer for Saturday’s governorship election in the state, Professor Florence Obi, announced this in the early hours of Monday.

The decision to hold supplementary elections in Ihiala LGA follows the failure of INEC to conduct elections there on Saturday.

According to Professor Obi, this failure was due to security challenges which made it impossible for the electoral body to deploy materials and personnel in the LGA.

“We have collated results for 20 out of the 21 local government areas,” she said. “The outstanding results are for Ihiala Local Government Area where for various reasons, the commission could not deploy materials yesterday (Saturday).

“Consequently, based on Constitutional considerations and provisions of the Electoral Act as well as revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of election issued by the commission, a supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala Local Government Area.”

The Returning Officer for the Anambra State governorship election, Professor Florence Obi and others in Awka on November 7, 2021.

 

Professor Obi explained that the collation of results could not be concluded and a winner declared without elections in the LGA.

Ihiala is the only one of Anambra’s 21 LGAs where elections could not hold.

Results were announced for all other LGAs with the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Charles Soludo, winning in 18 of the 20 LGAs for which results were declared.

“Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary elections shall be conducted where the commission due to logistic challenges is unable to deploy on Election Day,” Professor Obi said.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala Local Government Area at par with the other 20 local government areas in this election before we can make a valid declaration in this election or take any further action based on the extant laws.

“Therefore, I, Professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as Returning Officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.

“I have conferred with the commission, being the body that fixes the date for the election, and the commission has decided that the supplementary election will take place on Tuesday, 9th November 2021. Therefore, the collation of results shall resume thereafter.”

She appealed to party agents and the people of the state to support INEC during the supplementary election to ensure that the election “is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, for the good of the people of Anambra State, the people of Nigeria, and to the Glory of God”.

See the breakdown of the results announced so far before collation was suspended:

S/NLGAAPCAPGAPDPYPPREMARK
1AGUATA4,7739,1363,7981,070APGA
2ANAMBRA EAST2,0349,7461,380559APGA
3ANAMBRA WEST1,2331,9181,401357APGA
4ANAOCHA2,0856,9115,108868APGA
5AWKA NORTH7551,908840381APGA
6AWKA SOUTH2,59512,8915,498919APGA
7AYAMELUM2,4093,4242,804407APGA
8DUNUKOFIA1,9914,1241,6801,360APGA
9EKWUSIGO1,2372,5701,857727APGA
10IDEMILI NORTH2,2915,3582,312902APGA
11IDEMILI SOUTH1,0392,3122,016752APGA
12IHIALANo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo Election
13NJIKOKA3,2168,8033,409924APGA
14NNEWI NORTH1,2783,3691,5116,485YPP
15NNEWI SOUTH1,3073,2432,2261,327APGA
16OGBARU1,1783,0513,445484PDP
17ONITSHA NORTH3,9095,5873,781682APGA
18ONITSHA SOUTH2,0504,2812,253271APGA
19ORUMBA NORTH2,6724,7871,847655APGA
20ORUMBA SOUTH2,0604,3941,672887APGA
21OYI2,8306,1332,484900APGA
TOTAL42,942103,94651,32220,917
Total Valid Votes229,521
Total Rejected Votes7,841
Total Votes Cast237,362

Electronic Voting Is Possible In Nigeria – Victor Oye

 

Chief Victor Oye, National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), says he is confident that Nigeria can successfully adopt electronic voting as well as the electronic transmission of results.

Mr Oye said this on Sunday night while the collation of results from the 21 LGA’s of the state in the governorship election was still underway.

“The electronic process is working but let INEC improve on it. Nigeria has the capacity to go electronic. We can vote electronically as well. That is the lesson we have to take from this election. That electronic voting and transmission of results is possible in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking further, Oye described the election as peaceful, saying such can be replicated across Nigeria.

“There is no election that could have been as peaceful as this. This is the most peaceful election we have had in this state. If we make some modifications on the bad, Nigeria can conduct elections with great integrity,” the APGA Chairman said as the party opened the lead in the election.

Read Also: Anambra Election: Soludo Opens Lead In Anambra Governorship Race

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room also gave similar observations, saying that the election was generally peaceful but had widespread vote-buying.

In its report on Sunday regarding the polls, the Situation Room gave some specific instances of vote-buying to include the sale of votes for amounts ranging from N1,000 and N6,000 at various locations.

The organization, however, noted that this was being carried out very discreetly in some polling units while in others, the vote-buying was done in full glare without prevention from the security personnel.

Nevertheless, the Situation Room disclosed that voters in a particular polling unit in the state rejected an inducement of N5,000 per vote.

The agency commended the courage of those voters.

Anambra Election: INEC Ad-hoc Staff Absconds With Result Sheets

An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff has absconded with 41 result sheets in Oba 1, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra state.

The Local Government Collation Officer, Gabriel Odoh said this on Sunday while presenting the result of the Local Government Area at the collation center in INEC Headquarters, Awka, the state capital.

“In Oba 2 one of the ad-hoc staff carted away 41 result sheets out of the 42 and that is why election did not hold,” Mr Odoh said while explaining why election did not hold in the area.

Although Mr Odoh did not give the name of the ad-hoc staff, he disclosed that the staff was the Supervising Polling officer.

He also explained that violence and ballot box snatching were recorded in Oba 1 area.

FILE PHOTO: INEC officials at a polling center during Anambra 2021 governorship elections. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun

 

Meanwhile, the number of registered voters in the local government was 112,652 and the number of accredited voters was 6,622.

All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won the local government with 2,312 votes while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 2,016 votes. The All Progressives Congress (APC) had 1,039 while Young Progressives Party (YPP) had 752 votes.

Residents of Anambra State are still awaiting results of the governorship election held on Saturday with Charles Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and APGA candidate winning 10 out of the 11 local government areas announced so far by the collation officers.

PHOTOS: Security Beefed Up At INEC Office Ahead Of Anambra Election Results Collation

Security has been beefed around the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Awka, Anambra State capital ahead of collation of the governorship election results.

The collation of results is expected to commence at 11:00 am with results from 21 Local Government Areas.

Eighteen political parties and candidates are in the governorship race and voting has taken place across polling units spread across the 21 local governments of the state.

READ ALSO: ‘Resistance, Disruptions, Device Malfunctions’: INEC Gives Update On Anambra Election

INEC earlier on Saturday said ahead of the election said that there are 2.5 million registered voters and 5,720 polling units in the state but there will be no voting in 86 of them because there are no registered voters there.

 

See photos of the security operatives below…

Anambra Governorship Election In Photos

A combination of photos capturing the election at different polling units. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

On November 6, thousands of electorate in Anambra trooped to their various polling units to elect their preferred candidate to succeed Mr Willie Obiano as the governor of the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that voting in the election would commence by 8:30am and end by 2:30pm.

Hours into the poll, the electoral umpire extended the time to conclude voting as a result of a failure of the accreditation devices – Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), in some polling units.

Amid the sorting and counting of ballots in many polling stations, the election will continue at other units where hitches were recorded.

While some polling units welcomed large crowds who came to exercise their civic responsibility, others witnessed a low turnout of voters.

Highlights of the poll in various parts of the state are captured in the pictures below:


Election Eve

‘Resistance, Disruptions, Device Malfunctions’: INEC Gives Update On Anambra Election

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Nwachukwu Orji briefs the media on November 6, 2021.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Nkwachukwu Orji briefs the media on November 6, 2021.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) on Saturday said there had been resistance and disruptions to the election process in Anambra state.

The commission also admitted that some of its accreditation devices had malfunctioned while it had been unable to make necessary deployment to certain areas.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Nkwachukwu Orji, made the disclosures in a press briefing in Awka, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Soludo Finally Votes After Waiting For Over Five Hours

“We are now receiving information on areas where there were resistance to deployment by the commission, where there were disruptions to the election process that already commenced, where we have sustained malfunctioning of the accreditation device, the BIVAS, and where we were unable to deploy as a commission.”

Mr Nwachukwu added that INEC will follow its own guidelines in determining how to collate results on a case-by-case basis

“In each case, the commission’s regulations and guidelines and other existing laws will be used to address these issues,” he said.

“Where elections held, collation of results will proceed, and the applicable EC40G instrument will be used in line with the provision of the electoral law.

“If there are areas where there is a determination that the collation of results cannot take place at the RA collation centres, collation will now take place at the LGA collation centres.”