Dismisses four petitions for lacking merit
By Tony Edike
A five-man panel of Appeal Court Justices in Enugu, yesterday, dismissed all the four appeals filed against the judgment of Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal which upheld the election of Dr Willie Obiano as duly elected governor of Anambra State, a declarartion made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the November 16 governorship election.
The presiding Justice, Mohammed Lawal Garba, while delivering lead judgment on the appeal filed by All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Sen Chris Ngige, resolved the 11 issues sought against the appellant and subsequently dismissed the appeal for incompetence and lack of merit and awarded N50,000 cost against the appellant.
On the second appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Tony Nwoye, against INEC and Governor Willie Obiano, another member of the panel, Justice Ejembi Eko, dismissed the appeal for lack of. Merit and awarded N50, 000 cost in favour of the respondent.
The third appeal filed by PDP suffered the same fate of dismissal as Justice Akeju I. O, in his lead judgment, awarded N30, 000 cost against appellant.
On the fourth appeal filed by Chike Obidigbo of All Progressives Grand Alliance, Justice Tijani Abubakar, in his lead judgment dismissed the petition for not being meritorious and awarded N50, 000 cost against the appellant.
The five-man panel was unanimous in the four judgments, thereby affirming the ruling of the Justice Ishaq Bello-led Anambra Election Petition Tribunal, delivered on 24th June, 2014.
In a quick reaction, the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who led other chieftains of the party to court, expressed happiness and praised the judiciary, saying over 95 percent of judicial officers in Nigeria have decided to uphold the principle of the law, which the ruling represents.
”We were not in any doubt that the petitions will be dismissed because our candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, won that election with landslide. We also said during the announcement of the result that the election was peaceful and fair.”
While sympathising with the petitioners, he advised them to congratulate Obiano and join hands with him in developing Anambra which he is already doing.
He expressed confidence that the party will still win should the appellants decide to approach Supreme court following favourable judgments by the two lower courts.