BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA-Justice H. O. Ozo of an Awka High Court Wednesday warned Anambra State Government and the state House of Assembly not to appoint another person as chairman of Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC, saying he would not hesitate to set aside such appointment if done before the determination of the case pending in his court.
The sacked chairman of ANSIEC, Prof Titus Eze, had dragged the state government and House of Assembly to court in suit No A/136/2011, challenging his removal from office, arguing that the action of the defendants ran foul of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
When the matter came up for hearing, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, who appeared for the respondents, made an undertaking that his clients would obey the directive of the court.
Essentially, Eze, through his counsel, Mr. Nnamdi Ibegbu, SAN, is asking the court to declare that the constitution entitled him to remain in office for five years from the date of his appointment, which was May 11, 2010, that as chairman, he could only be removed from office by the governor acting on address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly if he was unable to perform his duties.
He argued further that due process was not followed in his removal.
He is also praying the court to declare null and void his removal based on the audit report that allegedly indicted him which, he said, did not give him fair hearing and urged the court to give an injunction restraining the defendants or their servants from interfering with the statutory functions of ANSIEC chairman.
Eze also urged the court to direct the defendants not to deny him his entitlements and any part thereof as chairman of ANSIEC throughout the duration of his unexpired five years tenure.
After a brief argument by both sides, Justice Ozo granted the application of the plaintiff and adjourned the case to November 16.