February 13, 2017

Abia LG Election Tribunal grants Okoli leave to inspect materials

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

ABA— The Abia State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Aba, has granted leave to the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Aba South council area, Dr. Christian Okoli, to inspect and make copies of all electoral materials used in conducting the December 21 polls in the state.

Okoli had petitioned the tribunal challenging the return of the chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Emeruwa, as the duly elected chairman of Aba South council by the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission, ABSIEC.

Joined as respondents in the suit are ABSIEC; Justice I. N. Akomas, chairman, ABSIEC; Chief Electoral Officer of Abia State; Electoral Officer, Aba South LGA; Returning Officer, Aba South LGA;  Emmanuel Emeruwa; Agbahiwe Callison Omenka and PDP, among others.

Relying on a motion on notice brought pursuant to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Section 190 Local Government Laws of Abia State, a written address in support of the motion as well as a 17-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Chijioke Wogu, APC Deputy Chairmanship candidate for Aba South, Chairman of the tribunal, O. K. Onuma, ruled: “It is hereby ordered as follows: That the first to fifth respondents are hereby ordered to immediately permit/allow the applicants to inspect and make copies (which shall be certified for them) of the following.

“The unit, ward collation/summary and local government collation/summary of the chairmanship election conducted in Aba South Local Government on 21/12/2016 by the 1st  to 5th  Respondents.

“Evidence of distribution and receipt of the electoral matters especially election result sheets from the 1st, 2nd  and 3rd  Respondents to the 4th  Respondents and then to the ward supervisory presiding officers, down to the presiding officers for the conduct of the Local Government Election held in Aba South on 21/12/2016.  The marked Voters’ Register used by the 1st  to 4th  Respondents to conduct the chairmanship election in Aba South on 21/12/2016.”