Anambra Tribunal: 35 witnesses to testify against Obiano’s election

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state

No fewer than 35 persons will bear witness for candidate of Mega Progressive People’s Party (MPPP) in the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election against the governor, Willie Obiano, at the election tribunal.

The MPPP governorship candidate, Praise Okechukwu, said this through hid Counsel, Nkem Ekweozoh, during the sitting of the tribunal in Awka on Tuesday.

The petitioner in an amended application was praying the court to annul the November 18 election in Anambra and order a fresh contest.

He said Mr Obiano was not qualified to participate in that poll, as he was not legitimately nominated by his party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

The counsel prayed the court to admit his application as it was in line with letters of the Electoral Act.

In his argument, Onyechi Ikpeazu, counsel to Mr Obiano, said the amended application should be dismissed.

Mr Ikpeazu said the electoral act permitted petitioners to alter their petition if need be within the 21 days provided by the law.

He urged the tribunal to discountenance the application as the time for altering a substantial element of a petition had elapsed.

In his decision, H.A. Olusiyi, chairman of the tribunal, said the pre-hearing session would continue in the next sitting.

Mr Olusiyi said ruling on the application would be made on April 23.

In another related matter, the case between Paul Obianaso of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) versus Mr Obiano, APGA and INEC, was stalled for absence of witnesses.

Emeka Agbapuonwu, counsel to Mr Obianaso, prayed the court to give him 10 days to serve the witnesses to appear when subpoena.

Judge Olusiyi reminded the parties of the need to expedite the process as the tribunal must end on June 9.

After a consensus by the counsel, it was agreed that the petitioner be allowed to produce his critical witness within the days he prayed.

The matter was adjourned till May 4, for further hearing.

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