BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA — The Abuja Divi-sion of the Federal High Court, yesterday, struck out an application by the All Progressives Congress, APC, which sought the prosecution of the governor-elect of Anambra State, Obiano Willie, over his alleged possession of multiple voters’ card.
APC had insisted before the high court that it secured three separate voters’ cards issued to Obiano prior to the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.
Specifically, it alleged that Obiano was issued a Voter Registration Number, VIN, 90F5B88377091121 at 2:18p.m. on August 21, 2013, and another VIN 90F5B15E7D378200332 at 10:25a.m. on September 3, 2013.
According to APC, “further investigation revealed that Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie had earlier registered at Ifako/Soluyi Ward 2, Polling Unit 060-Junction of Ramot Oluwakemi Street, Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State, with a Voter Registered Number, VIN, 90F5B12B01296204172, with a serial number 461.”
Consequently, the opposition party, through its counsel Mr. John Anietor, applied for an order of mandamus to compel the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute Obiano for the offence of multiple voters registration in accordance with section 12(2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), and section 4 and 23 of the Police Act, Cap P19 LFN, 2004.
However, in his ruling, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who noted that APC approached the court through a motion ex-parte, stressed that no supporting affidavit was deposed in support of the allegations.
More over, Justice Kolawole, held that the APC ought to have joined Obiano to the suit, considering that his rights would be adversely affected should the court grant the application as prayed.
“Granting such prayer against a party who is not before me cannot be in tandem with the letters and spirit of the law. The motion ex-parte is hereby refused and the case accordingly struck out,” Justice Kolawole held.
APC earlier told the court that though it had by a letter dated November 21, 2013, four days before the Anambra poll, invited both INEC and IG to investigate and prosecute the allegation of multiple registration, “the first and second respondents ignored, failed and neglected to prosecute Obiano Maduabuchi Willie upon the facts and evidence of multiple voters’ registration.”
The applicant also tendered the said letter it wrote to both INEC and the IG and copies of the multiple voters registration of Obiano marked Exhibits A, B1, B2 and C respectively.
In their 12-paragraphed verifying affidavit deposed to by one Alhaji Shuaibu Umar who identified himself as the Executive Assistant to the interim National Secretary of the APC, the applicant, insisted that it would be in the interest of justice and democratic governance to hear and grant the application.