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Enugu Guber: PDP Writes INEC, Says Only Option by Law is to Declare Dr. Mbah Winner


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Enugu State, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), urging the election management body to declare its governorship candidate in Enugu, Dr. Peter Mbah, the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state, saying it is the only option by the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

PDP’s position was contained in a March 19, 2023 complaint letter to the State Returning Officer, Prof Madu Bibisi Ofo Ewe, and signed by the PDP State Collation Officer, Dr. Festus Uzoh.

The party  observed that Section 64(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that where collation has been completed as in the instant case, the duty of the collation officer who collated the result is to announce the result and make a declaration. 

“The State Returning Officer, having collected the results from Nsukka LGA and Nkanu East LGA, and collated the same, his statutory duty and legal responsibility is to announce and declare the results.  We note that issues relating to accreditation and votes cast in a polling unit and the fate of such votes where they exceed the number of accredited voters in such units are guided by Section 51(2) of the Act.  

“The position of the law is that a Returning Officer has no power to cancel any results at the stage of collation.  What he can do under Section 64(7) of the Electoral Act 2022 is to re collate after verification from the technological device that there is a difference between the results from the device and the one produced.   We understand that you have indeed verified this from the INEC Headquarters Abuja.

“The only option open to any person dissatisfied with the process is to resort to Section 130(1) of the Electoral Act”, the PDP insisted. 

Section 130(1) of the Electoral 2022 vests in the tribunal or court the power to receive and adjudicate petitions complaining of an undue election or undue return in an election.

The PDP equally wondered why the LP would complain about the gubernatorial result of Nkanu East when it already accepted the declaration of its candidate, Mr. Kelvin Chukwu, as the senator-elect for Enugu East senatorial election, which held on the same day in the Nkanu East LGA.



 

“The LP was declared the winner of the senatorial election and did not at any stage raise any objection or complaint about the conduct of the election in the Nkanu East Local Government.   

 

“We believe that the Returning Officer for Nkanu East Local Government Area has duly complied with the provision of Sections 64(4)(a)&(b) and Section 64(a)&(d) of the Electoral Act 2022. 

”We therefore submit that the only option open to you as the State Returning Officer for the Governorship election in Enugu State under Section 64(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 is to announce the results and make a declaration of the winner of the election.

“Our prayer is that you announce the results and declare our Governorship candidate, Dr. Peter Ndubisi Mbah, the winner of the election” the party concluded.


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