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Tribunal Dismisses Nnamani’s Petition, Awards Costs

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Enugu has upheld the election victory of Senator Kelvin Chukwu of the Labour Party, dismissing the petition filed by Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election results.

The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Nusirat I. Umar, delivered a unanimous judgment affirming Kelvin Chukwu as the duly elected senator representing the Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State. Chukwu had replaced his brother Oyibo Chukwu, who was tragically assassinated shortly before the election.

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State between 1999 and 2007, had represented the Enugu East Senatorial District in the 9th Assembly under the PDP. Despite securing the PDP’s ticket to contest for the senatorial seat in the February 25 National Assembly elections, he openly declared support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, instead of his party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar. As a result, he was expelled from the PDP but still ran for the election under the party’s banner, ultimately losing to Kelvin Chukwu of the Labour Party.

Nnamani’s petition alleged irregularities, over-voting, election malpractices, and non-compliance with electoral guidelines during the election. He sought the court’s declaration as the rightful winner or the invalidation of the election results.

However, in their ruling, the tribunal judges dismissed the petition and ordered the petitioners to pay a cost of N500,000 to the three respondents: Kelvin Chukwu, the Labour Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The judges deemed the petition “vague, lacking in merit, incompetent, generic, and an academic exercise.”

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