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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Anambra LG Poll Will Be A Nullity, If…, Embattled Chairman Warns



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*says its subjudice and sheer waste of public funds

The embattled chairman of the Anambra State Independent National Electoral Commission(ANSIEC), Prof Titus Eze has cautioned stakeholders and would-participants in the next Saturday’s council elections in Anambra state to bear in mind that there are battery of pending law suits over the election, as well as his position as the substantive chairman of the commission.

Briefing journalists who besieged him to seek comments on the position of the pending cases, yesterday in Awka, Prof Eze noted that the legal norm was that no action would be taken to change the status quo ante bellum as ruled by Justice Hope Ozoh of the Anambra state High court, on the matter sometime last year.

According to commission’s chairman, the nation’s Constitution, Part 2 Sec B clearly specified that ANSIEC shall constitute of the chairman and other officers, who shall not be more than seven or less than five; whose duties shall be to advise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the composition of the voters’ register which is to be used for the council election. That the commission when so composed shall organize and supervise the council election into the 21 councils of the state.

Eze noted that even the state’s electoral Law No 4 of 2001, Sec 3(1 and 2) provided that ANSIEC shall be established to consist of the Chief Electoral Commissioner who shall be the chairman, and others who shall not be more than 7 or less than 5, including at least a woman.

He insisted that he had gone to court when he was purportedly removed as chairman, the matter of which has remained in court since then. “It was also highlighted that the LG electoral law No 5 of 2000 vested the conduct and supervision of the LG poll in the chairman. The critical areas provided for critical actions that must be carried out by the chairman, leading to an acceptable and unbiased election.”

Hear him, “Neither the nation’s constitution nor any other law provided for an acting chairman. And if such position is not provided by any of our laws, I then wonder where and how any person will assume such position”, he stressed.

Prof Eze stated that “being one of the greatest beneficiaries of series legal processes, it is preposterous for anyone to now try to deride the courts. For example, since this matter is pending in court, no one ought to take any further actions thereto until its full determination. Now there are 3 cases pending and we are talking about council election, it doesn’t appear we respect the law/courts that have so much favored us.”

When taken on the earlier assurances of Gov Peter Obi and the national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that all such pending cases would be reconciled and settled out of court, Prof Eze said no one had ever come or even called him.

He therefore called the electorates in the state to be cautious of the election, as it would surely be invalidated. He however declined categorical demand for suspension and cancellation of the election. He reiterated that Chief Victor Umeh earlier owned up that he (Eze) committed no offence, that he was removed for insisting on the council election.

Labour Party had earlier accused APGA and Gov Obi of subterranean plot to write the results of the election, so as to rig the party out in its main strongholds of Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ekwusigo, Dunukofia, Onitsha North and Onitsha South councils.

The Acting chairman of ANSIEC, Sylvester Okonkwo said they were now ready for the poll and that nothing will stop it, “not even all these allegations”, he noted.

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