Uba vs Ubah: What happened at Tribunal on Thursday

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Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) has begun his defence at the Anambra Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka.

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Ubah’s victory is being contested by Sen. Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his younger brother, Chief Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in consolidated petitions marked EPT/AN/SEN/09/2019 and EPT/AN/SEN/11/2019 respectively.

NAN reports that Ubah on Thursday presented a total of eight witnesses, four for each petition on Wednesday, to testify on the validity of his victory at the Feb. 23 Senatorial election for Anambra South District.

Chuma Ogunjiofor and George Igbokwe SAN, were counsels to Sen. Andy Uba and Chris respectively, while Dee Nwigwe SAN stood for Ifeanyi Ubah in both petitions.

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During cross examination by Igbokwe, Chukwuma Uba, who worked as YPP collation agent for Nnewi North Local Government Area, said the election was free and orderly.

He said that he signed the council election result for his party alongside other party agents.

The party agent said the voters’ register and card reader were used in the election, and that there was neither inducement nor intimation of electoral officials, adding that agents signed the result voluntarily.

When confronted with an exhibit of voters’ 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 voter, 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.

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.

But he told the court that he did not know who signed for PDP in another result for same local government.

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.

Justice Thelma Okara told the defence to present all his 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 Aug. 10 for conclusion of hearing.

DAILY POST had reported that a witness last week told the Tribunal that voters’ register was not used in some polling units in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra South Senatorial election during the Feb. 23 poll.

The witness, Mr. Bright Nebedum said he worked as PDP local government agent for Orumba South, noting that there were issues in the result from the local government due to inconsistencies.

The witness, who had earlier identified smart card reader reports, voters’ register, ward and local government results he deposed to in his affidavit, said the election lacked substantial compliance.