Supreme Court dismisses Ngige, Nwoye’s appeals

Willie Obiano

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed appeals filed by Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenging Governor Willie Obiano’s election in Anambra.

Mr. Obiano was the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the November 16, 2013 governorship election.

Mr. Ngige’s counsel, Emeka Ngige, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, had urged the courts to cancel the election and order a fresh one due to alleged irregularities.

This was, however, challenged by Mr. Obiano through his counsel, Patrick Ikweato.

Delivering judgments in the separate appeals filed by the APC and PDP candidates, the apex court said that they lacked merit, and dismissed them.

The judgments were delivered by Justices Kumai Akaahs and Olukayode Ariwoola.

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In rejecting all the grounds of appeals, the seven-member panel unanimously affirmed the election which brought Mr. Obiano into office.

The court held: “The applicants were unable to prove the allegations of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, which they filed against the respondent.

“Also, they did not prove that the election was not conducted substantially in compliance with the provisions of the Act as alleged.

“The appeal is hereby dismissed in its entirety.’’ It further held that Mr. Obiano did not engage in multiple
registrations as claimed by the appellants.

According to the court, the governor simply transferred his voter’s card from Lagos, where he initially registered, to Anambra, his state of origin, which is allowed in law.

It said that the grounds of the appeals did not warrant the governor’s disqualification as the applicants prayed.

The Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, had on July 26, unanimously dismissed the applicants’ suit.

The five-member panel had affirmed the judgment of the Justice Ishaq Bello-led Anambra Election Petition Tribunal, delivered on June 24.

The tribunal upheld the election of Mr. Obiano, who was sworn-in in March to succeed former Governor Peter Obi, also of APGA.

The Supreme Court’s verdict essentially marks the end of the litany of litigations against Mr. Obiano’s victory at the poll.

(NAN)

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