By Tony EDIKE, Enugu
AS the controversies over the Court of Appeal Enugu judgments on the Anambra North Senatorial seat rage, a political group in Anambra State has called on the Supreme court to act decisively and wade into the matter.
The group, Anambra Democratic Coalition (ADC) said none of the dramatis personae in the legal battle could be blamed for the present political debacle in the senatorial district except the Appeal Court which delivered conflicting rulings.
It expressed disappointment that the three appeal tribunal judges involved in the controversial ruling are still members of the five-man panel of Appeal Court judgesÂ that heard Senator Joy Emodiâ€™s appeal for interpretation of judgment and urged the Chief Judge of the Federation to disqualify the three judges fromÂ handling the fresh appeal.
President of the group, Jacob Abbah Maduka told reporters in Enugu that â€œafter reviewing the events leading to this confusion, we strongly urge Nigerians to place the blame at the appropriate doorstep, in this case the Court of Appeal, which upheld the Senatorial Election for Anambra North in one breath and in another breadth declared Chief Alphonsus Igbeke of the All Nigeria Peopleâ€™s Party (ANPP) winner of the same election.â€
He commended the Senate for not joining the fray by taking sides saying, â€œwe commend the foresight of the Senate leadership which refrained from acting on a matter that the court is yet to give clear and unambiguous interpretation on, thereby making it possible for Senator Joy Emordi not to be robbed of her mandate a second time having been kept away from the seat she won in 2003 for almost two years.â€
The group urged the contenders to the senatorial seat in the interest of political stability of the Anambra North Senatorial zone to desist from anything that could cause trouble in the zone and wait for the outcome of the courtâ€™s interpretation of the judgment which has created more confusion than settlement.
â€œThis piece of advice is based on the distraction the claims and counter claims to the seat are creating in the polity especially the critical education sector, the committee of which Senator Emodi heads at the Senate.
The Coalition described the conflicting rulings as a great disservice to the constituency which the two contestants aspire to serve.
On the issue of the results presented at the tribunal, the ADC said that it was important for Chief Igbeke to also clear the air on the allegations that the results he tendered to secure the INECâ€™s Certificate of Return, which he now parades, were forged.
â€œIn the light of the pronouncements by the three judges on the appeal that the results tendered by Igbeke was less than authentic and the subsequent position of the INEC officials that they did not certify the results used as evidence in the case, the police should be immediately called in to investigate how he (Igbeke) ended up with the results that INEC has now disowned because it will be disgraceful for anyone found to have perjured to seat in the hallowed Senate Chamber.
â€œBesides, the new development that the three judges of the Appeal Court which gave the contentious judgment are also sitting on the appeal filed by Senator Emodi for judicial interpretation of the matter is unacceptable. New judges entirely ought to be appointed to sit over the matter.â€