From Ada Bosa
The Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka today struck out Advanced Congress of Democrats as a party to the election petition filed by Senator Chris Ngige and All Progressive Congress (APC) before the Tribunal.
Ngige and APC, Plaintiffs in the Second of four subsisting election petition before the Tribunal had moved its application before the tribunal his party sitting in Awka ,All Progressive Congress (APC) and Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige ,today moved a motion to strike out the name of the fifth respondent in the matter- Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) from the petition.
The motion was moved by the lawyers to APC, Rotimi Akeredolu,SAN and Emeka Ngige,SAN leading a team of about 25 lawyers.
The motion was unopposed.
With this development the likely event of the court accepting the motion and agreeing with the petitioners, only four respondents will be left in the suit, namely, The Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano and All Progressive Grand Alliance as first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
Earlier, in the day the tribunal heard arguments from two factions of APGA in their claims and counter claims regarding the candidature of the party in the heavily disputed elections.
Dr Chike Obidigbo ,a factional candidate ,under the line-up of Chief Maxi Okwu is claiming to be the ‘elected’ governorship candidate of APGA at the expense of Chief Willie Obiano ,while asking the Tribunal.
The tribunal reserved ruling in two other motions also moved by Akeredolu. While one o the motions seeks to consolidate all preliminary applications/objections and treat them along with the substantive matter in line with Paragraph 12 subparagraph 5 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 ,as amended, the second otion seeks to report the findings of physical inspection of electoral materials done at the premises of INEC Awka .
The motions were severally opposed by lawyers to the INEC, Gboyega Awomolo,counsel to Obiano, Onyebuchi Ikpeazu,SAN and APGA, O J. Nnadi ,SAN.
Ruling on both motions will be delivered by the three –man Tribunal headed by Hon Justice Ishaq Bello on Monday next week ( February 17,2014)
Meanwhile the Tribunal will on Friday February 14, 2014 continue hearing on three preliminary objections brought before the tribunal by Victor Umeh’s faction of APGA, through their lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, leading O J Nnadi, SAN and other lawyers in the petition brought before the Tribunal by Dr Chike Obidigbo and APGA, seeking to be declared the candidate of APGA in the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial elections.
The other two applications are from Onyebuchi Ikpeazu, SAN for Obiano and Gboyega Awomolo, SAN leading Arthur Obi-Okafor, SAN and others. All objections sought to strike out the petition for being defective.
But the duo of FC Dike ,SAN, leading Oba Maduabuchi,SAN , who addresses the court in opposition to the three applications canvassed that ‘the applicants are seeking to circumvent justice by asking the court to strike out the petition on grounds that amount to dealing with the substantive issue with evidence from the applicants without evidence being adduced by the us ( petitioners in the substantive matter).
The three-man Tribunal adjourned to enable service to be completely effected on al parties in the matter.