Double Registration: Court Grants Leave for Criminal Prosecution of Gov. Obiano
An Abuja High Court presided over by Hon Justice A R Mohammed yesterday granted All Progressives Congress (APC) leave to sue for an order of Mandamus compelling the Inspector General of Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to prosecute Mr Willie Obiano for the electoral offence of multiple registration.
Section 12(2) of the 2010 Electoral Act , as amended forbids voters from registering more than once in the National Voter Register and specifies a prison term of one year for persons found guilty of the offence.
However, Obiano, candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2013 governorship election was cleared to contest the elections despite evidence of double registration by INEC.
The issue forms part of all four petitions pending before the Electoral Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka whose jurisdiction is however limited to the disqualification of the candidate if found guilty.
APC however in a suit originated prior to the said election, APC is challenging the IG and INEC to proceed with criminal prosecution.
Before filing the suit, APC had through their lawyers, Mr Festus Keyamo written separate letters to the two authorities asking them to step jn and prosecute the offending candidate. The faikure or neglect of both authorities had given rise to the suit which was truck out on technical grounds, but promptly relisted
With the leave which was moved by Barrister John Ainetor of Festus Keyamo Chambers nos granted all is set for the pursuit of the order which , if granted will leave the Police and INEC with no option , but to prosecute Obiani who was sworn in as governor of Anambra State.
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