Anambra Elections: Tribunal Throws Obidigbo’s Application out

By James Eze
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The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka to decide complaints arising from the gubernatorial elections of November 16th and 30th 2013 has thrown out the application filed by Dr. Chike Obidigbo, former gubernatorial aspirant on the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for lack of merit.

Dr. Obidigbo who belongs to the Chief Maxi Ukwu faction of APGA had sought relief from the Tribunal to be joined as a respondent in the petitions brought against INEC, APGA and the Governor-elect of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) on the conduct of the governorship elections in Anambra State.

However, ruling on the application, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Mohammed Ishaq Bello dismissed it for lack of merit and advised the Obidigbo legal team to seek other avenues to address their grievances as the Tribunal was set up to listen to petitions arising from the actual conduct of elections and not intra-party wrangling that predated the election.

In a ruling that sought to calibrate the scope of work before it, the Tribunal also struck out two-third of reliefs sought by the Tony Nwoye, the PDP gubernatorial candidate including allegations of Double Registration levelled against Chief Obiano and other allegations against persons that were not party to the dispute.

Also struck out were all offensive paragraphs while the petition on the display of Voters Register was taken in part for the main reason of its direct importance to the general outcome of the polls.

On Voters Register, the Judges held that it is a vital pre-election instrument and the fact that the PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Mr. Nwoye cited it in his main petition indicates that its importance goes beyond the pre-election threshold.

Today's rulings are the first by the Justice Bello led Tribunal which began sitting on February 4, 2014.

The Tribunal which adjourned to tomorrow Friday, February 28, 2014 is also expected to to rule on the respondents' application to strike out sections of the petitions filed by the APC on Friday, February 28, 2014.

By James Eze
Head, Media & Communications
Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation