Obiano was accused of double registration
The winner of last year’s gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Willie Obiano, has applauded the ruling of the Federal High Court Abuja which struck out an application filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, seeking his prosecution over alleged double registration.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Obiano described the ruling as a re-affirmation of his belief and that of his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the Nigerian Judiciary.
“It has re-affirmed our belief in the nation’s judiciary as one the enduring pillars of democracy. Nigerians can now see that there is merit in the judgement of an Anambra State High Court sitting in Otuocha that had earlier thrown out the case in November last year. After winning what was unanimously seen as the most peaceful, free and fair election in the history of Anambra State, we are now focused on how to continue the delivery of quality governance to Ndi Anambra,” he added.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole had, on Monday, struck out an application by James Anietor, counsel to the APC, seeking to compel the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute Mr. Obiano for alleged double registration as a voter.
Mr. Anietor had tendered documents alleging that Mr. Obiano registered as a voter twice – first on August 2013 in Lagos and again in September of the same year at his hometown in Anambra State.
Justice Kolawole held that he was not persuaded by the motion exparte brought by Mr. Anietor because it had no supporting affidavit. The judge noted that granting the prayers of the applicant for the arrest and prosecution of the Governor-elect in his absence would adversely affect his right.
“Granting of such orders to prosecute him will not be in consonance with the letters and spirit of the law. The said motion exparte is, hereby, refused and the case struck out,” the judge had said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Mr. Obiano the winner of the November 16, 2013, governorship election in Anambra State, ahead of Tony Nwoye of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, and Chris Ngige of the APC.
The APC has challenged the result of the election at the election petition tribunal.