The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra South Senatorial district in the February 23 National Assembly elections, Dr Chris Uba has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to grant his lawyer Charles Oguejiofor, the authority to prosecute Ifeanyi Ubah and others over the last election.
Ubah contested the election on the platform of the Young Peoples Party, YPP, and was declared winner by INEC.
Chris Uba’s request was contained in a letter dated March 28, 2019, to the chairman of INEC through his lawyers.
He said the request was informed by an earlier order made by a Federal High Court in Awka, in a suit he filed, marked: FHC/AWK/CS/29/2019, directing INEC to either prosecute Ifeanyi Ubah by itself or appoint the applicant’s lawyers for that purpose.
After the election, Chris Uba applied to the Federal High Court in Awka for an order of mandamus, compelling INEC to prosecute its (INEC’s) Returning Officer for the election, Prof M. N. Umenweke and Ifeanyi Ubah (listed as 2nd and 3rd respondents) for allegedly committing electoral offences during the election.
In a judgment on March 27, 2019, Justice I.B Gafai ordered INEC to, within 14 days, conduct investigation into the criminal allegations raised by Chris Uba in his application.
Justice Gafai, in an enrolled order , said: “Upon the honourable court having delivered a considered judgement today (March 27, 2019), it is hereby ordered as follows:
“The 1st respondent (INEC) shall, within 14 days from today, conduct or cause investigation into the criminal allegations of the applicant (Chris Uba).
“Prosecute, if the investigation result so warrants, the 3rd respondent (Ifeanyi Ubah) and any other person(s) implicated in its investigation.
“Where it considers it inexpedient to prosecute through its legal officers, consider, at its liberty, the appointment of the applicant’s solicitors in this suit, for the purpose of such prosecution.”
In his March 28, 2019 letter, Chris Uba said his lawyers already possess enough facts with which to commence the prosecution and secure the conviction of all persons implicated in the alleged offences.
Chris Uba added: “It is not in doubt that the reason the unscrupulous persons still engage in these electoral offences is that they are hardly prosecuted in court for their heinous acts and so, nobody is deterred from engaging in such acts brazenly and with impunity on each succeeding election.
“We are ready, upon invitation, to meet you or any of your officials, to brief you on the extensive investigation we have carried out so far in the matter.”