Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) on Wednesday opened his defense at the Anambra Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka.
Ubah’s victory was being challenged by Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his younger brother, Chief Chris Uba of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in consolidated petitions marked EPT/AN/SEN/09/2019 and EPT/AN/SEN/11/2019 respectively. Senator Ubah presented a total of eight witnesses, four for each petition, to testify on the validity of his victory at the February 23 senatorial election for Anambra South District. Chuma Ogunjiofor and George Igbokwe SAN were counsels to Sen Andy Uba and Chief Chris respectively while Dee Nwigwe SAN stood for Sen Ifeanyi Ubah in both petitions. During cross examination by Igbokwe, Mr Chukwuma Uba, who worked as YPP collation agent for Nnewi North Local Government Area, said the election was free, fair, peaceful and orderly. He said that he signed the council election result for his party alongside other party agents.
He said voters’ register and card reader were used in the election and that there was neither inducement nor intimation of electoral officials, noting that agents signed the result voluntarily. When confronted with an exhibit of voter’s register, the witness confirmed to the Tribunal that his name was not ticked as having voted. He also acknowledged discrepancies spotted in the number of accredited voters, card reader reports and number of votes cast. He, however, blamed the discrepancies on INEC and told the Tribunal that no vote was awarded or donated to his principal. Also testifying, Mr Okey Onuzuluike, who worked as YPP collation agent for Ekwusigo Local Government Area, said the council was calm on the election day.
Mr Onuzuluike, who identified his name and signature as agent of YPP on the council result, confirmed the name and signature of PDP agent on one of the result presented. When also confronted with discrepancies in the total number of accredited voters, card reader report and number of votes cast, the witness said the figures were tiny and he could not see them because he had eye problem. Igbokwe offered the witness his glasses but he declined noting that their sight problems were not the same. Hon. Justice Thelma Okara told the defense to present all its remaining witnesses on the next adjourned date for the closing of all cases as the Tribunal was constrained with time. The matter was fixed for 10th August for conclusion of hearing.