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APGA seeks to be joined in suit against Anambra Governor-elect

28 February 2014, 11:04

Abuja - The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) on Thursday filed an application before an Abuja Federal High Court seeking to be joined in a suit instituted against Anambra Governor-elect, Willie Obiano.

The two plaintiffs, Ugochukwu Ikegwuonu and Kenneth Moneke, had sued Obiano alleging that he registered twice as a voter prior to his election.

They had contended that the voter’s card, which the governor-elect tendered before his party (APGA) prior to the election which he won, was different from the one he submitted to INEC.

The plaintiffs had in the suit filed before Justice Ahmed Mohammed by their counsel, Joe Gadzama, SAN, prayed the court to prosecute the governor-elect for double registration.

The plaintiffs argued that by his conduct, Obiano had contravened the provisions of sections 12(2), 16(2)(3) and 31(5) of the Electoral Act and was unqualified to contest, ab initio.

Initially joined in the suit were Obiano as first defendant and INEC, as second respondent.

At the resumed sitting on Thursday, APGA’s counsel, Pius Ikwueto, said he had filed an application seeking for an order of the court to be joined in the suit.

Responding, Gadzama said he was not opposed to the application, as the party seeking to be joined is the political platform of the first defendant.

However, Obiano’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, told the court that he got wind of the joinder application while in the courtroom.

"In view of the factional issues going on in APGA, it is my duty to assess the situation and then oppose this application.

"For this reason, I will urge this honourable court to allow me the statutory period within which I will properly represent the interest of the first defendant,’’ he said.

INEC’s counsel, Ibrahim Bawa, said he was equally served with the motion in court.

"Subject to the right of the first defendant, we will not oppose the application until when it is ripe,” Bawa said.

Ruling in the matter, Justice Mohammed said: "having considered the fact that the first defendant was served with the joinder application this morning in court and considering his right to respond, this matter has been adjourned to March 10 for hearing of APGA’s application."

-  NAN

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