Ahead of Anambra LG polls, CJ inaugurates election tribunals

By The Citizen

The Chief Judge of Anambra, Justice Peter Umeadi, on Friday inaugurated  three election petitions tribunals and three appeals tribunals ahead of the Dec. 21 local governmentelections in the state.

Performing the ceremony in Awka, Umeadi said each of the tribunals consisted of three members.

He urged the members of the tribunals to ensure that justice prevailed during the hearing and determination of petitions.

'You are today   constituted pursuant to the Local Government Law 1999 and Law Number 5 of Anambra State 2000.

'The role of the judiciary has always been to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done.

'Consequently, the judiciary resolves to do justice to all manner of persons without fear or favour, ill-will or affection.

'It is therefore crucial that having been sworn intoday , you understand that you are bound by the integrity and code of conduct required of a public officer at all times,' he said.

The chief judge said that adequate funds had been provided for the exercise and that the judiciary required utmost probity from them.

He warned that 'any proven infraction or compromise on members' integrity would be visited with swift reprimand which would include instant removal.'

'The law expects that the chairmen and members shall be persons of unquestionable integrity,' the chief judge said.

He noted that the stability of the state's polity was dependent on their steadfastness, commitment, honesty, candour, openness, respect, fairness and justice for all who appeared before them.

According to him, petitions are to be presented within one month after the date of the  election and  heard and determined within 60 days.

Umeadi added that appeals would arise seven days from the day of the tribunal's decision.

He named Mr Ogochukwu Onyekuruje as the chairman of the tribunal for  Anambra Central Senatorial Zone sitting in Awka with Messrs Okechukwu Ezeukwu and Joseph Chuma as members.

The tribunal for Anambra North zone in Onitsha has Mr Lawrence Anizoba as chairman with Mrs Comfort Ene and Mrs Adaeze Nwazota asmembers.

Mr Benjamin Osaka will chair the  Anambra South tribunal in Aguata with Mr Emmanuel Okonkwo and Mrs Ukamaka Ofodiama as members.

The three judges of the appeal tribunal are Justices Veronica Umeh, Peter Obiora and Joseph Iguh for Onitsha, Aguata and Awka respectively.

Responding, Umeh commended Umeadi for finding them credible for the assignment while Onyekuruje assured the chief judge that the members would  live up to expectations.

Local council elections were last conducted in the state in 1999.