Anambra Election: Chris Ngige Storms Tribunal With 40 Ghana Must Go Bags Of Evidences
Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the disputed Anambra State Nov 16 Gubernatorial Elections, Senator Chris Ngige yesterday stormed the courtroom of the Anambra Election Petitions Tribunal with over 40 Ghana Must Go bags of exhibits occupying every available room in the compact court room.
The trial commenced same day after Ngige petitioned the tribunal against the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), and joining Chief Wille Obiano and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
Ngige is seeking an order of the Tribunal to cancel the elections on the basis of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, Corrupt practices, and double-registration of the INEC –declared winner of the disputed polls and candidate of declared winner by INEC and illegal postponement of the elections.
The exhibits, being INEC-certified true copies comprise mainly of two categories- Voter registers used on November 16, 2013 and Polling Booth Results of elections held on 16th ,17th and 30th November 2013. Both copies cover the 4608 polling units, 326 wards and 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
Lead Counsel for APC and Ngige, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN yielded the floor to Emeka Ngige, SAN, shortly after the Tribunal flagged off trial with the announcement of three cases being heard together in consolidation. The consolidated case is founded on elections petitions filed by Ngige/APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Comrade Tony Nwoye denoted as second, thirds and fourth petitions respectively. The first petition filed by Dr Chike Obidgbio is standing.
In all, 138 exhibits, drawn from five wards in LGA were tendered today, and admitted in evidence under two series. Exhibits 1-69 were from the voter registers, while Exhibits 1A-69A for Form EC8 A (Poling Booth Results).
Electoral Wards which exhibits were admitted today were Achina I with 14 polling units; AguluEzechukwu with 12 poling units, Akpo with 12; Amesi with 15 and Ekwulobia with 17 units. Achina Ward II was skipped by Emeka Ngige for tendering in future.
Voter registers from Achina I was admitted and marked Exhibits 1-14, those from AguuEzechukwu were admitted and marked as Exhibits15 to 26, those from Akpo were marked Exhibits 27 to 38, and Amesi voter registers were marked as Exhibits 39 to 53, while those of Ekwulobia were marked as Exhibits 54 to 69.
Correspondingly, ‘Exhibits 1A to 14A’ was used to identify results sheets in polling units in Achina I Ward. Exhibit 15A-26A identifies results sheets from AguluEzechukwu,.
Polling booth results from Akpo were identified with the numbers 27A to 38A.Amesi results sheets identified as Exhibits 39A to 53A,while those of Ekwuobia were identified as Exhibits 54a to 69A. However, the tendering one exhibit apiece for the two categories in Ekwulobia were stepped down for legibility, while an explanatory note with a substitute result sheet was attached to one of the 17 polling unit results.
Earlier in the day, lawyers engaged in fierce fireworks on the nagging question of who will represent APGA in the suit filed by Dr Chike Obidigbo, factional candidate of APGA who is suing in conjunction with APGA, against INEC and Obiano.
An earlier application filed through Patrick Ikwueto SAN representing on faction of APGA loyal to Sir Victor Umeh had its ruling deferred to final judgement, in line with another application by APC/Ngige,PDP and Nwoye creating a mild drama as Ikwueto announced appearance today.
Announcing appearance Ikwueto reminded the Tribunal that ‘this tribunal has deferred ruling in an application to strike out the name of APGA from this matter as the Petitioners do no represent APGA’. He went ahead to ask rhetorically:’ My lord are we supposed to go home and sleep?’.
Chairman of the Tribunal equally answered: ‘’No, you are to stay so that we can give you Paracetamol’drawing a loud applause.
The Tribunal later adjourned the sustaive case of Obidigbo to Wednesday 19th March 2014 based on the bereavement of the counsel, Nzeoba Maduauchi Esq, who lost his elder brother, rejecting Ikwueto intervention that the tribunal should dismiss the petition because ‘the petitioner is not serious’ and that of Counsel for INEC, Gboyega Awomolo SAN, that the three days allowed for parties to prove their respective cases should count from today.
Hearing at the petition by Ngige/APC, PDP and Nwoye (Petitions 2, 3 and 4) continue tomorrow at 9.30am.
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