Anambra State’ s gubernatorial election on November 6 has come and gone. After receiving over 100, 000 valid votes, INEC certified APGA candidate Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo the victor of the election.
Senator Andy Uba, his opponent in the election who emerged in third place, is dissatisfied with the election results. He has vowed to appeal Soludo’ s victory to the Supreme Court.
Andy Uba has made an excellent point, which I believe will lead the Supreme Court to declare Soludo’ s election null and void. In this essay, we’ ll take a look at it.
Uba Alleged That There Were Cases Of Over- voting In Some Polling Units
Andy Uba claims, according to the Sun newspaper, that the election was tainted by anomalies. He believes there were instances of over- voting in some polling places, resulting in the number of legitimate votes cast exceeding the number of accredited voters.
Senator Andy Uba Campaign Organization Spokesperson, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, said in a statement that the carcass of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) could not have defeated the APC without the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Willie Obiano- led administration actively colluding and manipulating the election.
According to the statement;
” The Sen Andy Uba Campaign Organization has rejected the result of the just- concluded Anambra State governorship election as declared by INEC. The outcome of the election was a charade and did not reflect the wishes of the people of Anambra State. ”
” Our popular candidate, Senator Andy Uba is a victim of widespread electoral fraud and manipulation by INEC in cohorts with the Willie Obiano Regime and the security forces deployed to oversee the Anambra State Governorship Election.
” The elections were characterised by widespread irregularities, intimidation and voter suppression to clear the path for the inglorious ‘ victory’ of APGA in the polls.
” For instance, in polling units where the Biometric Voters’ Accreditation System malfunctioned, INEC went ahead to conduct the elections manually. There were numerous cases where votes announced by INEC exceeded the number of accredited voters in polling units.
The number of valid votes cast should not exceed the number of accredited voters. This is common sense.
A free and fair election cannot be considered to have occurred if there is actual proof of over- voting.
The Supreme Court will be interested in this point, and if Andy Uba and his legal team can establish it beyond a reasonable doubt, the election of Soludo might be nullified.
Other Reports From Observers
Notwithstanding the claims by the All Progressive Congress candidate, Senator Andy Uba, reports from credible election observers have continued to reveal otherwise.
Below are some of their reports;
Political Parties Engaged In Massive Vote- Buying- CDD Reports
The Centre For Democracy And Development (CDD) has issued a preliminary assessment on the ongoing Anambra election, claiming that vote- buying is widespread in the state’ s 21 local government districts.
CD s Director of Research, Sa’ need Husaini, announced this in an Abuja statement on Saturday while briefing journalists on the group preliminary election findings.
” We have also noted widespread incidents of vote- buying that will likely negatively impact the credibility of the election result. CDD observers reported numerous not- so- discreet cases of ‘ see- and- buy’ in pollings units across the 21 LGAs of the state.
” In many reported cases, police officers have been alleged to have looked the other way, likely as a result of having themselves been compromised. ”
According to the organisation, vote- buying had become a more common aspect in Nigerian elections, cutting across party lines.
INEC and other key stakeholders, according to the organisation, must make more concentrated efforts to reverse the trend.
Despite fears about the significant deployment of security officers, the CDD announced that very few cases of intimidation and violence had been reported, defying the fear and uncertainty that surrounded election day.
The group cited numerous incidences of the Bi- Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) failing across multiple polling locations, claiming that this had hampered the election’ s smooth conduct.
It is likely to disenfranchise some intended voters, according to the group.
” The lateness of officials in commencing accreditation and polling has left many voters frustrated, necessitating INEC’ s extension of the voting period till 4 pm. ”
The UK Expresses Satisfaction With Anambra Gubernatorial Election
- Congratulates Soludo
Despite Senator Andy Uba’ s assertions, the United Kingdom (UK) government has expressed satisfaction with the just concluded Anambra governor’ selection.
In a statement made available to Daily Sun by the Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer, Atinuke Akande- Alegbe, the British High Commission in Abuja congratulated the election winner, Prof Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The UK government stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) findings were compatible with the results acquired through YIAGA Africa’ s civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation method.
The UK government also stated that its mission, which witnessed the election preparations, recognised the combined effort of all stakeholders in the election conduct.
” The people of Anambra have demonstrated resilience and a commitment to democracy.
” We recognise that independent Nigerian voices have expressed concerns about the conduct of the electoral process, in particular around logistics, accreditation of voters, deployment of polling officials, and low voter turnout. The UK is encouraged by the use and transparency of INEC’ s result viewing portal in the electoral process.
” We encourage any party or individual who is dissatisfied with the process to seek redress in a peaceful manner and through the appropriate legal channels, ” the British High Commission asserted.
The UK government also stated that as a long- time ally of the Nigerian people, it will continue to assist Nigeria and its civil society in drawing lessons from the elections and advancing democracy, particularly election integrity.
Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, responded to the news by saying:
” Credible and inclusive elections are fundamental to Nigeria’ s democratic growth. I encourage INEC and all stakeholders to continue improving the electoral system and to ensure meaningful participation of young people, women and citizens generally in the democratic process. ”
The Perception Of People About The Election
While Uba has the right to seek justice in court, other Nigerians may disagree with him on the subject of over- voting as a result of the Biometric Voter Accreditation System, or BVAS, which INEC implemented in the Anambra election to combat all sorts of rigging.
People generally believe that the election was fair and that the electorate favoured Soludo.
The election petition tribunal will commence hearings shortly. In addition, APGA’ s Soludo, who was deemed the winner by INEC, has obtained his certificate of return and will be sworn in in March 2022.
We wait to see how the matter will end at the Supreme Court.