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Tribunal begins hearing of petitions against Obiano’s

14 March 2014, 19:38

Awka - The Anambra Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Awka on Thursday began hearing of petitions challenging Willie Obiano’s declaration as governor-elect in the November 2013 elections.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Ishaq Bello, resumed hearing after a one-week break.

At the resumed hearing, Chris Ngige of All Progressives Congress (APC), in his petition against Willie Obiano, INEC and APGA, sought to tender exhibits from the bar.

The exhibits include voters’ register used in the Novemeber 16, November 17 and November 30, 2013 governorship election across the state as well as forms EC8A of various polling units.

However, counsel to Ngige, Olarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Emeka Ngige (SAN), only tender the documents from five wards of Aguata Local Council Area.

The five wards are Achina, Aguluezechukwu, Akpo, Amesi and Ekwulobia.

The other documents tendered were ballot paper account, Oath of Neutrality and the list of Ad hoc staff employed during the election.

Ngige’s petition was adjourned to March 14, for continuation.

Meanwhile, the tribunal refused application urging it to dismiss Dr Chike Obidigbo’s petition against them for lack of seriousness.

The counsel to INEC, APGA and Obiano, who brought the application, said the petitioner was not showing diligence in prosecuting the case.

Counsel to Obidigbo, J. O. Onwujekwe, had applied for a short adjournment to enable him prepare adequately for the hearing.

He said that certain documents were not available for the day’s proceedings.

However, Counsel to INEC, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), contended that the petitioner was not showing diligence in prosecuting his case.

"The excuse of a subpoena is not a good reason for postponing an election petition which is time-bound," he said.

In his argument, Counsel to APGA, Patrick Ikweto, said that the petitioners were in default of the order made by the tribunal earlier.

In its ruling, however, the tribunal maintained that it would play to the rule of fairness and not promote rancor and injustice.

Bello, therefore, adjourned the case to March 19, to enable Obidigbo’s counsel produce necessary documents needed to prosecute his petition.

 - NAN

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