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…as SDP candidate storms tribunal with petition

The Social Democratic Party(SDP) and its senatorial candidate for the Anambra Central zone in the just concluded general election, Chief Tony Chukwuelue have stormed the National Assembly Election Petitions tribunal in Awka with a petition seeking to nullify the Feb 23,2019 election conducted in the zone.

Chukwuelue told journalists in his Abatete countryhome, Idemili North council of Anambra state yesterday that he was wrongfully excluded from the poll without any reason or warning and had put the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on notice earlier.

He therefore sued INEC, Senator Uche Ekwunife(the eventual winner) and her party, the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) seeking to have the result of the election set aside for a fresh election to be conducted in the zone where his name and party logo shall be included in the ballot papers.

Chief Chukwuelue stated that his name and SDP logo were inexplicably removed from the ballot papers for the Feb 23,2019 election, hence throwing his teeming supporters who tripped out to cast their votes to him, in confusion and political quandary on the voting day.

Coming near to tears while narrating what he described as a harrowing experience, ordeal and insult he had received on the matter to SDP stakeholders who gathered to be briefed about his efforts to get justice so far, Chukwuelue lamented that the situation has extensively eroded his name, image and public standing. That many supporters were erroneously informed that he sold his opportunity to some other candidate, where it was not correct.

That those he tagged political traducers who apparently masterminded the wrongful removal of his name from the ballot were clearly afraid of his burgeoning political popularity ahead the scheduled Feb 23,2019 election in the area.

The senatorial candidate who tendered the Certificate of Return issued to him by the party dated Oct 3,2018 in a party primary where he was the only aspirant, said he ran a well-coordinated and strictly issue-based point-to-point campaign resulting in endorsements by distinguished groups, stalwarts, communities and other political associations, saw him coasting home to a landslide. But sadly the unfortunate happened about three days to the election date and threw everyone off guard.

Chukwuelue disclosed that all efforts he put up, including putting INEC on judicial notice on the discovery of the exclusion of his name, seeking to stop or suspend the election in the zone pending the inclusion of his name yielded no fruits. That his name and particulars were published alongside other candidates of other parties all along till few days to the election when he was hinted that his name suddenly disappeared.

He said he has hired a team of lawyers who had put together all the necessary documents and filed the petition while awaiting take off of proceedings. That he want to participate fully and actively in the election and also prove to his supporters that there was no iota of truth in the allegation that he sold his opportunity.

He commended his political leaders, Senators Annie Okonkwo and Ebenezar Ikeyina for their efforts, support and guide while assuring them he was very optimistic of obtaining justice at the tribunal.