APGA calls for review of Electoral Act, heads for Appeal Court to challenge losses at tribunal

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 15 October 2015 | 3,859 times

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The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday frowned at the unfavourable tribunal verdicts against its candidates in Abia State, calling for a review of the Electoral Act, which the party said is skewed in favour of respondents.

APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Ike Oye, at a news briefing at the Ikot-Ekpene Road state secretariat of APGA in Umuahia, maintained that with the way the electoral law, as currently structured, makes it difficult for a petitioner to get justice because of technicalities. He called for the amendment of the law.

“The way the Electoral Act (as amended) is designed is skewed to profit the respondents and puts the petitioner at a serious disadvantage. How could anybody in his right senses, ascribe the survival of such a case to undue technicalities; you are expected to prove even beyond every reasonable doubt. Once they say that, they quote Onoh vs Nwobodo. We should grow beyond that,” Oye said.

Continuing, he said: “APGA subscribes strongly to the position of Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, that our electoral laws should be subjected to serious scrutiny. We stand by that. As the law is today, is very difficult for a petitioner to get justice in his case because right from the blast of the whistle, the person is at a disadvantage.

“So our party feels very strongly with some of the judgements but there is nothing we can do rather than to advise our people not to resort to self-help but to seek constitutional remedy, legal remedies where necessary. As a political party, we stand by all our candidates in the elections, we are going to give them all the support to enable them to get justice.”

News Express recalls that APGA did badly in the cases decided so far at the National and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunals in Abia State.

Rulings in the eight petitions filed by APGA candidates against their PDP opponents favoured the PDP candidates who were returned elected at the polls. Senator Mao Ohuabunwa floored both David Ogba Onuoha Bourdex of APGA and Chief Orji Uzor Kalu of PPA to retain his seat as senator representing Abia North; Senator Theodore Orji’s election was upheld by the tribunal which struck out the petition filed against him by Ahamdi Nweke in the battle for Abia Central Senatorial seat while in the petiton filed  by Chief Chris Nkwonta of APGA against the return of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of PDP in Abia South, the tribunal ruled that  there should be  a re-run in some wards.

In the legal battle for the House of Representatives, Iro Orji (Arochukwu), Dr Ejike Orji (Isuikwuato/Umunneochi), Kenedy Adiele (Ukwa East/Ukwa East), Chief Chinenye Ike (Isiala Ngwa/Isiala Ngwa North) and Chief Collins Onyeama who were all APGA candidates lost in their petitions against their PDP rivals in their quest to represent their federal constituencies.

Oye said that in the light of the tribunal rulings, he has been on tour to gauge the feelings of his party faithful and concluded that “there is angst all over the place.”

“Our people are not happy with some of the outcomes in the tribunals. But I know one thing, as law-abiding citizens, we will take this matter to its logical conclusion. We will not resort to self-help at all. It is not the style of APGA,” he added.

“It is not our intention to disparage the judiciary. It is not in our character. They have given their judgements to the best of their ability, to the best of the knowledge. We, as a political party,  though we are not happy with some of  the outcomes, we will pursue them  where we feel convinced that justice has not been done, we are going to approach the relevant authorities to see what can be done. The best way to seek remedies is to go to the Court of Appeal,” he said

According to Oye, APGA has undergone a re-birth and was being repositioned for victories in 2019.

“APGA is a new party, new party in orientation with a new party culture. We are redesigning and rebranding the party to make it a winning party in Nigeria. Our spread is beyond the South East. We have taken the party to every nook and cranny of the country and before the next election, we are expecting that the popularity of the party would have assumed a position of global prominence. That, we are very, very certain,” he said.

•Photo shows APGA Chairman, Victor Ike Oye.

Source: News Express

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