2023 Elections: Tribunal Affirms Tony Nwoye, Peter Udeogalanya’s Victories


From Mokwugwo Solomon, Awka

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra state, has upheld the election and declaration of Labour Party (LP) candidates, Senator Tony Nwoye, and Hon. Peter Udeogalanya (aka Mac-P) as winners of the February 25, 2023 senatorial and House of Representatives election conducted in Anambra North Senatorial district, and Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituency respectively.

Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra North, Senator Stella Oduah, and House of Representatives candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra East and West Federal Constituency, Chinedu Benjamin Obidigwe, had approached the tribunal asking for outright nullification of the elections of Tony Nwoye and Peter Udeogalanya, respectively, over alleged electoral malpractices, and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

Obidigwe, who was challenging INEC’s declaration of Udeogalanya, claimed that there was over-voting in Aguleri Ward II, polling units 004 and 007, in Anambra East LGA; as well as massive manipulation in Olumbanasa Ward, polling unit 009 in Anambra West LGA.

But in an unanimous judgement delivered on Thursday, September 7, by a three-man panel of justices, the
tribunal said that there were 81 accredited voters in poling unit 009 in Olumbanasa Ward, and that even if the entire votes were summed-up and added to Obidigwe’s scores, the LP candidate, Udeogalanya, would still win him with very wide margin.

In Aguleri Ward II, poling units 004 and 007, where Obidigwe alleged over-voting, the Tribunal averred that the APGA candidate still remained major beneficiary of the excess votes in Aguleri, as he garnered popular votes in the polling units under contention. The tribunal further averred that even after adding the excess votes to the APGA candidate, the LP candidate still led with over 700 votes.

The court, therefore, dismissed Obidigwe’s petition for lacking in merit; adding that the candidate of APGA could not prove alleged irregularities in the said election beyond reasonable doubt.

Addressing newsmen after the judgement, one of the lawyers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Barr. Chijioke Celestine Ofoegbunam, said that the ruling was an affirmation of the people’s mandate, and confirmation of the fact that INEC is truly independent, and an unbiased umpire. He added that by the judgement and analysis thereof, the court has proved that INEC was right in declaring Peter Udeogalanya winner of the said election.

Earlier on Wednesday, September 6, the tribunal also dismissed the petition of Senator Stella Oduah challenging Senator Tony Nwoye of the Labour Party as winner of Anambra North Senatorial election held on February 25.

Senator Oduah and PDP, in a consolidated petition: EPT/AN/SEN/1/2023 & EPT/AN/SEN/2/2023, approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Tony Nwoye as a validly elected senator representing Anambra North Senatorial district by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Tony Nwoye of the Labour Party was declared the winner of the senatorial district election after he scored 94,779 votes to defeat his closest rival, Senator Stella Oduah, who polled a total of 50,146 votes.

The three-man panel of tribunal judges unanimously dismissed Stella Oduah’s petition and that of PDP for lack of merit, and affirmed the election of Dr Tony Nwoye of Labour Party.

In his message after the judgement, Senator Nwoye said that he was dedicating the victory to the people of Anambra North Senatorial District.

He said, “Our mandate has been strengthened by the verdict of the Electoral Tribunal. I express my utmost gratitude to God Almighty, the leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi; and all my well-wishers.

“I dedicate this victory at the Tribunal to the good people of Anambra North Senatorial District. I wish to deeply reassure my people that I will continue to serve them diligently and truthfully.’

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