From Martins Ezigwe, Citizen Reporter
Counsel to APGA headed by Maxi Okwu had jocularly pleaded with other senior lawyers to avoid the date and take another date for the proceedings, but they laughed it off and went ahead to settle for Friday February 14, 2014 for continuation of legal fireworks on the election petition brought before the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election Petition by Dr Chike Obidigbo claiming to be a candidate in the November 16, 2013 elections.
So, here we are on D-day.
Before the curtains were drawn on Tuesday , the Tribunal had headed by Hon Justice Ishaq Bello had listened to arguments of Patrick Ikwueto,SAN, representing Umeh-led APGA praying the Tribunal to strike out APGA as a party in the suit and as a consequence of that strike out the suit filed by Dr Obidigbo.
According to Ikwueto,’ it is not possible for a party that won the election to claim to have been excluded from the same election’.
But Nzeoba Maduabuchi would have none of that as he pointedly told the tribunal that Ikwueto is trying to lure the Tribunal into discussion of the substantive matter at the pre-trial stage because the issue of qualification or non-qualification of a candidate based on nomination and sponsorship of the party cannot be discussed without establishing who the the Chairman of APGA is.
It was at this point that Ikwueto said he had not been served with the counter affidavit prepared by Nzeoba, who was led by FC Dike SAN.
In line with the resolve of the Tribunal not to dwell on technicalities at the expense of the substance, the Tribunal was inclined to make progress from that point, but Maduabuchi owned up responsibility, apologised for the error of not serving Ikwueto and sought an adjournment to effect the service, hence the Valentine adjournment.
So when youngsters will be soaked in the mood and colours of love, painting the town red – APGA will be seeking to create their own love by establishing first at the Tribunal, courtesy of the Obidigbo case who owns the heart of APGA. In fact the impact of the transferred duel seems to envelope the participation of other stakeholders in the suit, like Chief Wilie Obiano and INEC has severally submitted that ‘My lord we are not opposed to this (Ikwueto’s) motion’.
INEC declared Obiano the winner of the elections, a declaration now being challenged by four petitions, which the three-man panel is hearing as a consolidated matter..
Will you be there in the State High Court Awka tomorrow to witness the duel and the rest of the petition? Or who will be telling you the story unbiased?