A retired Army officer, Col. Bude Nnakee Okafor, who contested the chairmanship position of Njikoka Local Government Area in Anambra State, in this interview calls on the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano to obey a court judgement that declared him winner of the election
By Charles Kumolu
Can we know why you have not been sworn in as the Chairman of Njikoka Local Government Area in spite of a Court of Appeal judgement ordering you to be sworn in?
Governor Willie Obiano should be asked that question. Why is he refusing to swear in the man declared winner of Njikoka Local Government chairmanship election by the Court of Appeal? Governor Willie Obiano went to court over alleged multiple voters registration and the court absolved him. Others respected the court order and he was allowed to contest the election. Now he is refusing somebody declared winner by the Court of Appeal . How can a governor of a state say that nobody should be sworn in? Why is he refusing to obey a court order?
Many governors in those days became governors through court judgement including him because there were legal questions on his candidacy over multiple registrations before the court made it possible for him to contest. The civilized world and entire society are watching, to refuse to obey a court order is primitive and uncivilized. Nigeria is for positive change and obedience to the rule of law now. Challenging the judiciary and refusing to obey its judgement is akin to anarchy.
Wasn’t the judgement appealed by the other party?
Please nobody should deceive the world or the nation to believe there is an appeal pending before the Supreme Court of Nigeria. There is nothing like that. There is a pending case on this case in the court of appeal and until that suit is adjudicated and determined there can be no appeal to the Supreme Court. Chief Emeka Onuora is occupying the chairman’s office illegally and had since been served a motion from the court. That was why he is running helter-skelter. Besides there can be no case in the Supreme Court when records of proceedings have not even been compiled.
The Court Order is a declaratory order that must be obeyed.
Why was your name substituted by the All Progressives Grand Alliance,APGA, before the election?
Severally the local government election was postponed in Anambra State until 2013 when it held. I was a member of the Obiano camapaing organisation during the governorship election. We contributed to the success of the election.
Success of the election
I was part of the Security Department alongside Dr. Tim Menakaya, Mr. Ifeanyi Obi and others. On the day of the primary election, I saw two people who did not buy forms and didn’t comply with the guidelines of the party for the election and I protested vehemently to the presiding officer that they were not eligible to contest. He overruled me on the grounds that his duty was mainly to preside and return results. He said it wasn’t his responsibility to determine, who will contest or not. On that same day, Chief Emeka Onuorah, who is also my friend, protested that he was no longer interested in contesting.
After the election, one Mr. Tony was declared the winner. And this man did not even purchase form for the election. I protested to the party that they should not feature the man because I am the candidate of the party, but I was overruled. They later accepted my compliant but instead of declaring me the winner of the primaries Emeka Onuorah was declared the winner. I won majority of the valid votes in the primaries and ought to have been declared the candidate.
It was on that note that I campaigned and participated in the election because I won the primaries. After the election, Emeka who did not campaign, was declared the winner and was issued the certificate of return. Dissatisfied with the treatment given to me, I approached the courts praying that I be declared the winner. Having looked at the case, the court in its wisdom declared me the winner.
The Appeal court sitting in Enugu declared that I Col. Bude Nnakee Okafor, (retd), is the rightful candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and winner of Njikoka Local Government Chairmanship seat held on 11 January, 2014. Delivering the judgment on appeal CA/E/640/2014, challenging the ANSIEC declaration of Emeka Onuorah as the candidate of APGA at the poll, three man panel led by Justice Rita Nosakahare set aside the judgment of Hon. Justice H.O. Ozor in suit A/9/2014, delivered on the 8th October 2014 at the High Court Awka.
The appeal court further declared me as the winner of the chairmanship seat of the Njikoka Local Government election held on 11th January, 2014 having satisfied the provisions of Section 87 (5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), and section 141 of the electoral Act 2010 (as amended), and Article 24 (6) of the APGA constitution.