Nigerian presidential candidate of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari and vice-presidential candidate Yemi Osinbajo attend a campaign rally on January 19, 2015 in Kaduna. Buhari will face President Goodluck Jonathan ~ CHRIS STEIN
Awka - The Election Petitions Tribunal in
Awka commenced sitting on Wednesday to determine the 30 petitions arising from
the 2015 general elections in the state.
It is reported that the tribunal
received four petitions from senatorial poll, 12 from House of Representatives
election and 14 from states’ assembly election.
The Chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Nayai
Aganaba, at the inaugural sitting, solicited the cooperation of lawyers in
determining the matters within the stipulated 180 days.
Aganaba, flanked by Justice I.D. Garba and Justice Gani
Hamidu as members, assured that the panel would ensure that justice was done to
He said "we have heard of unsavory situations during election
petition trials in the state, but we believe that it is not a do-or-die affair.
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"The quality of evidence and rules governing electoral
matters provided by counsel will determine whether someone won or lost the
"Any attempt to try to sway us in one way or the other will
not work; the only attempt that will work is to sway us toward advocacy.’’
The tribunal chairman urged lawyers to show respect for one
another and teach the younger lawyers what it took to be lawyers.
Earlier, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for
Justice, Mr Anali Chude, had assured the panel of adequate security and
conducive environment to carry out their duty.
Also, the most senior lawyer at the inaugural sitting, Mr
Nnoluka Udechukwu (SAN), prayed God to grant the panel members sound mind to
discharge their duty without fear or favour.
He said "we shall give you all the cooperation that you
need and assure you of our civility in making sure that you leave the state
after duty with your reputations intact.’’
The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Awka branch,
Mr Anene Uba, who spoke on behalf of the state forum, welcomed the panel and
expressed the belief that they would enjoy their stay.