Eleven political parties have filed petitions at the Anambra State Governorship election tribunal to challenge the victory of Professor Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as the Governor-elect of the state.
It was gathered that the petitioners were able to beat the deadline for the expiration of the 21 days stipulated by the Electoral Act for the filing of petitions against the outcome of the Anambra State gubernatorial election.
The political parties between Monday and Tuesday made last-minute filing of their petitions as against expectations in some quarters that it would be a walkover for the governor-elect.
The Secretary of the tribunal, Mr. Surajo Gusau, disclosed on Wednesday that the candidates and political parties have filed petitions, and that the three-man panel of tribunal judges are expected to arrive in Anambra soon.
Among the parties are Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is calling for a declaration that he won majority of the valid votes cast in the said election.
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its candidate, Prince Adam Ume-Ezeoke, in their petition prayed the tribunal for the nullification of the election on the grounds that the Bi-Modal Accreditation Verification System (BVAS) is not in the Electoral Act and the malfunctioning ultimately disenfranchised over 90 per cent of the registered voters.
Also, the candidate of the Accord (A), Dr Godwin Maduka, and his party called for the nullification of the election on the ground of irregularities.
Other parties include the United Patriots, which petitioned the tribunal on the grounds of wrongful exclusion of the party’s name from the ballot, calling for the nullification of the election as well as the the Green Party and the Action People’s Party (APP) among others.
Reacting to the development, the Special Adviser to Governor Wille Obiano on Political Matters, Mr. Ifeatu Obiokoye, told journalists that APGA is not losing sleep over the petitions.
He said: “We shall take it as it comes and we are not losing sleep over those petitions and do not lose sight of the game plan of a particular party and petitioner by sponsoring some lesser political parties to go to tribunal and later withdraw from the suits and collapse into their benefactors at the end of the day.
“Our party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, won the election and we are prepared to defend our mandate at the tribunal,” he added.
This comes barely a few hours after the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Charles Soludo as Anambra State Governor-elect.