Monday, 15 May 2017

Anambra Central election: Judges defrauded me, Ekwunife cries out

Anambra Central election: Judges defrauded me, Ekwunife cries out

Uche Ekwunife

The dust raised by the controversial nullification of the electoral victory of Senator Uche Ekwunife in the Anambra Central Senatorial election is yet to settle.

Ekwunife Monday told reporters that the judges of the Court of Appeal who nullified the election defrauded her of her hard won senatorial seat.

The former House of Representatives member is also calling for immediate judicial review of the case to ensure that justice was done.

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She vowed to go to any length to retrieve her seat insisting the Chief Victor Umeh who challenged her victory in the election knew that he lost the election.
Ekwunife who spoke in Abuja said that position upon which the election was nullified had long been settled by the Supreme Court.

She noted that the judgement of the Supreme Court pertaining to nomination of candidates for election is that the candidate of another party cannot challenge the nomination of the candidate of another party.

Ekwunife said that there are six cases in court over the Anambra Central Senatorial election that have not been decided.

She said, “This is what you call electoral fraud. They defrauded me, the judges defrauded me of my mandate. It is electoral fraud that they did. Judicial fraud, the judges did judicial fraud in this judgement.

“How can I fight to get something and somebody took it from me for just a plate of porridge? Victor Umeh cannot deny it because he has been a litigant all his life. He is an incurable litigant . He is always in court. So he knows the judges he can use.

“But they have murdered their sleep, because this judgement, if it doesn’t expose them today, it will expose them tomorrow.

“This case would definitely put them in trouble one after the other. It was judicial fraud, quote me, they deprived me of the mandate given to me by my people and they cannot pretend this is s true judgement.

It cannot be. If this is a true judgement according to their wisdom, years of exposure in the judiciary and according to their judgement, they should resign.

“There were 720, 000 registered voters, I scored 97,000, Victor Umeh scored 83,000 and Ngige scored 20,000. The three results altogether is less than 24 per cent of the total registered voters. Every Tom, Dick and Harry know that this election was credible, transparent, free and fair.

“If I was to rig, I would have gotten up to 600,000 over 720,000. The day I was collecting the result, I was almost on wheelchair, because I worked so hard, I worked very hard for that election.

You can imagine somebody they denied her House of Reps ticket in APGA, it was my House of Reps ticket they denied me, and I left, contested Senate seat against them.

“You can imagine the venom…the governor, the wife, the deputy governor, all the apparatus of government, the way they fought me to stop me because I ran election against their National Chairman.

“I won the election only for insensitive judges to just nullify the election without blinking an eye, with the excuse that I wasn’t legitimately nominated.

“Even a member of your party, who did not participate in your primaries lack jurisdiction to challenge such primaries, not to talk of somebody from another political party, who was even a participant in the election challenging the nomination of another person in a different party..

“That is why I asked in my radio programme recently: why should the Chief Justice of Nigeria waste time in asking what happened. They should review the case.

“I am happy he said they are reviewing and reforming the judiciary and that henceforth, they going to look at quarterly judgements given at different courts of jurisdiction.

“They have to look at that case and question the judges, because it goes beyond hitting your gavel and nullifying an election.

“How about the people that voted in that election? They murdered the sleep and happiness of thousands of people that voted in that election.

“How could they have nullified the election and on what excuse? On the claim that I was not legitimately nominated

“Look at what the lawyers are saying: I heard this is one judgement no lawyer would attach as judicial precedence; no lawyer would quote this judgement, nobody would use it as authority from the court.

Go and check all the publications of law reports, you will not find this case. It is a bad case nobody can quote it in the courts to support any case.”

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On fresh election being time barred she said, “The case is time- barred because they can’t do the election again. The time given by the constitution for the election to be conducted is gone.

“First of all the judges were in a hurry they didn’t do proper research of the constitution. When the constitution changes, the judges should be able to upgrade their knowledge, they didn’t take cognizance of the amendment of that constitution in 2010 that gave only 30 days.

That is why they are still giving 90 days in different courts; meanwhile it has been changed to 30 days.

“So, even the judgement was wrong ab initio. It is the constitution that made it time- barred not human beings. And the constitution is supreme.

“That is why this is one law that is binding on all of us. And other act that is inconsistent with it is to the extent of that inconsistency null and void. Therefore the pronouncement of the court is inferior to the constitution.”

She added, This is a pre- election matter. Anything concerning election is post election matter. Now, they masqueraded pre- election matter as post- election matter. Anything pertaining primaries, processes of nomination is pre- election matter, it can’t be entertained in a post election court.

“They did it thinking they have done it, let her go to hell. I’m a woman and everyday I pray, I say God, you will never allow this injustice to go. These judges would one day know you’re God.

“They have their own children too, and they will present their case before people. But I’m presenting this judgement before God.

“Even Victor Umeh knows that he lost, he can’t just talk, he has no authority to talk. I am so ashamed that he can even talk because he knows he lost.

“He should be ashamed of himself. Even if in any way he finds himself in Senate, it’s not his seat. God will not allow him to be in that Senate and be happy because it’s not his seat, he lost.

“Greed killed him. He took my seat in the House of Reps, I left, now you see, I am already a Senator. He will not enter there. He will not smell that place because he knows he lost the election.

“Where a hard- earned victory was nullified on the flimsy excuse that I was not legitimately nominated by my party; when in the past we’ve had judicial precedence where the Supreme Court decided on so many cases that a member of another party cannot challenge the nomination of a candidate of another political party; that that person is just an interloper.

“We attached a lot of authorities to that effect. The tribunal said they lacked jurisdiction to entertain it, they struck it out. And Appeal Court assumed jurisdiction in an area where they lacked total jurisdiction and nullified a hard- earned victory.

“Someone who doubled as the Chairman of his party at the time of the election; he was the chairman of APGA and the candidate of APGA. Even a section of the constitution of APGA says he must resign 30 days before he contests any election, he didn’t resign.”

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