The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2023 elections, Chief Chekwas Okorie has shared his opinion on the reason his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi lost in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal but won his gubernatorial court case in Anambra.
According to Okorie, Obi was able to win his 2003 Anambra court case because APGA had agents in all the polling units in Anambra state.
Recall that Obi had contested in the 2003 Anambra gubernatorial elections under APGA and lost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chris Ngige.
Obi, however, pursued the case in court and was later declared winner.
Sharing his thoughts on the recent PEPT verdict, Okorie told The Sun that there is no enactment to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit any result electronically.
He advised other political parties to ensure that they have ‘agents accredited by INEC to monitor the election at every polling unit, collect the form EC8A and diligently follow the results to the collation centre and report to their principals.’
Okorie stated that before the PEPT gave their judgement he had said that the petitioners did not have enough evidence.
He explained that Obi was able to secure his victory in 2003 because APGA had result sheets.
According to him, “One lesson political parties and their candidates must have learned from the recent judgment of the Appeal Court on Peter Obi and Atiku petitions is that INEC is not compelled by law to transmit results even when they have promised to do so. Failure to do so will not make them liable for any breach of the law. So, until the Electoral Law is amended, which is one of the challenges of the National Assembly, INEC is not under obligation to transmit results.
“What I will advise political parties to do is to ensure that they have agents accredited by INEC to monitor the election at every polling unit, collect the form EC8A and diligently follow the results to the collation centre and report to their principals.
“In 2003, when I was the National Chairman and founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), we made sure we had our agents in all the polling units in Anambra State. The result showed that Peter Obi won that election, but PDP went somewhere to write a different result which was declared as authentic by the INEC and Chris Ngige as the winner. However, it was easy to detect that APGA result sheets were authentic because we had our agents in all the polling units.
“That was how Peter was able to win the case at the tribunal. In spite of the fact that the people who contested the election with us had far larger war chess in terms of money than our candidate, the tribunal had no choice but to give judgment to the rightful winner. I had said it earlier before the Appeal Court gave the recent judgment that other parties didn’t have enough evidence to prove that they won the election. One of them didn’t even have agents in certain locations. It is the form EC8A that is superior to results on the IreV portal. So, they lost from the beginning.”