The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu on Thursday nullified the election of the senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Gilbert Nnaji, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
It ordered that fresh election be conducted in the senatorial district within ninety days.
The tribunal held that the election did not comply with the 2010 Electoral Act as it was marred by irregularities.
Delivering judgment on the petition, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Matthew Adewara, said allegations of alteration of results, mutilations and cancellation were proven by the petitioners and nullified the result.
Relying heavily on the evidence of the forensic expert, who testified on behalf of Nnamani, the tribunal held that irregularities alleged in the conduct of the election were “gross and fundamental.”
The tribunal pointed out that the election did not comply with the rule on accreditation of voters and with proven cases of multiple voting, ballot box snuffing and over voting.
Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State, had filed the petition at the tribunal, challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nnaji as winner in the election.
He alleged that there were widespread irregularities, malpractices and corruption in the conduct of the election.
He also alleged, in the petition, that the conduct of the election was not in substantial compliance of the 2010 Electoral Act.
He said that his agents in some polling units in Isi Uzo Local Government were intimidated, while there were cases of voting rigging, ballot box snuffing and mutilation of result sheets.
He prayed the tribunal to nullify the result of the election and declare him winner.
Nnamani contested on the platform of People for Democratic Change (PDC).
Speaking after the tribunal’s judgment, counsel to Nnamani, Olusegun Jolawo, expressed satisfaction with the judgment, but said their team would have been happier if his client had been returned as winner.
Counsel to INEC, Mr Wilfred Nwabude, said the commission would look into the judgment and know its next line of action.
source: The Nation