By Tony Edike &Â Vincent Ujumadu
AWKAâ€”FORMER civilian Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has said that the petition by the defeated governorship candidate of the Action Congress, AC, Dr Chris Ngige against the election of Governor Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, who was sworn in Wednesday, for a second four years term,Â lacks merit.
The former Governor, however, admitted that the election was not entirely credible, considering the massive disenfranchisement of people during the exercise.
Ezeife, who spoke in Awka, shortly after Obi and his new Deputy, Emeka Sibeudu, were sworn in by the State Chief Judge, Justice P. Obidigwe, expressed happiness with the successful conclusion of the electoral process in the state, noting that at last, the state had been returned to the path of peace and unity. He said, â€œyou can see that Anambra people have turned out in their numbers to celebrate a new dawn. What are we celebrating? We are celebrating the return of Anambra to its old glory.
â€œWe are celebrating peace, unity and progress. We are celebrating the return of one people, no longer divided, or burning our collective heritage. Today (Wednesday) is a new day, we prayed for it, worked for it and made all kinds of sacrifices for it and God answered us.
â€œWe are not celebrating the absence of tribunal, anybody can go to court. For example, I didnâ€™t vote. The election was not credible in the sense of the disenfranchisement of people, but what was voted was counted and there was no violence, so we are celebrating that positive aspect of it. We are not stopping anybody from going to look for justice any where but it doesnâ€™t appear that the case has merit,â€ he added.
… as Tribunal adjourns hearing to April 19
AWKAâ€”THE Anambra State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Awka, yesterday adjourned till April 19, for hearingÂ in the petition by candidate of Action Congress, AC, in the February 6 governorship election, Dr. Chris Ngige, who is challenging the election of Mr. Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as Governor of the state.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Pius Damulak, said the adjournment was to enable parties prepare for the proper hearing after the Easter break. Dr. OnyechiÂ Ikpeazu, SAN, appeared for Governor Obi and APGA, while Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, appeared for AC and Ngige.
Ngige in the petition is arguing that Governor Obi did not win 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 of the local government areas of the state and called onÂ INEC, to conduct run-off between him and Governor Obi.
This is, however, against the insistence of INEC, that Obi won in 15 of the 21 local government areas of the state,Â which is more than the constitutional requirement for declaring a governorship candidate, winner.