By Kayode Matthew
AWKAâ€”The Anambra Democratic League, ADL,Â has expressed concern over the non representation of Anambra North Senatorial District in the Senate, following the Court of Appeal judgment which voided the election of its representative, Senator Joy Emodi .
The league in a statementÂ in Awka, Anambra State by Fabian Obieke, Chairman, John Ukaegbu, Secretary and Mr Emma Obi, Publicity Secretary alleged foul play in the conflicting judgments on the issue, arguing that the second appellate court judgment on the seat may encourage political gangsters, who it claimed had until recently been almost uprooted from the state.
The groupâ€™s concern arose following the contradictory appellate court judgments on the occupancy of the Anambra North Senatorial district.
The Appeal Court sitting in Enugu had on 10 February 2009, dismissed the appeal by the Labour Party candidate, Mrs. Jessie Balonwu against the election of Senator Joy Emodi, as it ruled that the election complied substantially with the provisions of the 2006 Electoral act.
Remarkably, the same Appeal Court with two of three Justices in the earlier case in their judgment on 25Â MarchÂ 2010, in the appeal by Chief Alphonsus Igbeke against Senator Emodiâ€™s election, claimed that there was no election in two of the local government councils in the constituency.
Expressing concern on the contradictory judgments, ADL wondered how the same panel, which earlier affirmed that the Senatorial election complied substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act could go on to in another breadth, say that there was no election in two councils.
According to the â€œIn its second judgment the Court ruled that there was no election in Ayamelum despite the substantial evidence to the contrary including voterâ€™s cards produced by those who voted on that day.
Even more worrisome is the fact that we voted in the Senate and House of Representatives election in Ayamelum on the same day but the court has chosen to cancel one and uphold another.â€
Expressing misgivings on the basis on which the second judgment was arrived, the group further said that Igbeke did not seek the vote of constituents and did not paste a single campaign poster during the 2007 electioneering campaign as it lamented that a stranger was being foisted on them as their representative.
â€œAs people who were on ground and actively involved in the processes leading to the election we know those who solicited our votes. Senator Emodi was rewarded with our votes because of the representation she gave to us between 2005 and 2007.
We know her and know where she came from but for this man no single person can point to a campaign poster that he pasted during the campaign. If you know show us,â€ the group deposed.