Tribunal Upholds Ugwuanyi’s Election, Ezea Vows To Appeal
The Governorship election petition tribunal presided over by Justice Kwajafa Hildad had struck out the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Okey Ezea against Ugwuanyi, saying it was frivolous, lacked merit and against court processes.
It also awarded the cost One hundred and fifty thousand Naira against Ezea.
As soon as the news of the tribunal’s decision filtered in, a large crowd of anxious supporters of Ugwuanyi went frenzy with jubilation, as they started singing victory songs in praise of the governor.
Ugwuanyi on receipt of the news of the judgment drove round the major streets of Enugu in company of his cabinet members.
He attributed the victory to the people of the state and thanked God for the success.
He said: “The mandate given to us is for service and we shall continue to render the best service to the people irrespective of political leanings. God has blessed Enugu and soon the people will begin to reap the benefits of this administration.”
But the Governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Okey Ezea has said he would appeal that election tribunal ruling.
Reacting to the ruling, Ezea said that it would amount to futility for anybody to start celebrating the ruling, stressing that he never expected any favourable ruling from the tribunal as it was compromised from the beginning.
He said: “We had written a petition to the Chief of Justice of Nigeria as well as the National Judicial Council (NJC) against the Enugu governorship election tribunal. There is no way we were expecting verdict in our favour.
“But we are not deterred. In 2007, Peter Obi lost at the Federal High Court, lost at Court of Appeal and won at Supreme Court. Chibuike Amaechi lost at the Federal High Court, lost at the Court of Appeal and won in the Supreme Court. Nobody is afraid of judiciary and I feel very free to state my position on anything.”
The state APC chairman, Dr. Ben Nwoye, also described the decision of the tribunal as “rape of justice”, stressing that, he was not convinced that it did a thorough job.
Delivering the judgment, which lasted for over three hours, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kwajafa Hildad among other findings, held that it had earlier in the course of the hearing struck out several paragraphs of Ezea’s petition “for being imprecise, vague, related to party nomination which is a pre-election matter and contained criminal allegation against people who were not made parties to the petition.”