Our attention has been drawn to the spate of falsehoods, deliberately peddled on the ruling of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Tribunal led by Hon Justice Ishaq Bello in Awka on Wednesday February 19, 2014 in some sections of the mass media, particularly on-line media, at the instance of interests opposed to the APC and Senator Chris Ngige at the Tribunal
Some have even gone to the ridiculous extent of falsifying the action of the tribunal to the effect that documents presented to the Tribunal by Senator Ngige’s/APC’s counsels were forged.
Nothing can be farther from the truth.
The reality on the ruling is that APC, jointly with Senator Chris Ngige, and severally with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Hon Tony Nwoye applied to the Tribunal severally to hear all preliminary objections in the body of the trial and consider them side-by side with the substantive matter in the final judgement as provided for by Paragraph 12, Sub-Paragraph 5 of the First Schedule tot eh 2010 Electoral Act ,as amended
The framers of the Electoral Act, by an amendment effected four years after original enactment abridged the timing expended on interlocutory applications/appeals appeals by providing in Paragraph 12 sub-paragraph 5 of the First schedule that parties should raise and document their objection, state the section or subsection under which they are raised and the ruling will be taken along with the trial and judgement delivered together on all issues..
In the instant ruling the Tribunal agreed with the arguments of APC,Ngige, PDP and Nwoye, and allowed all preliminary objections to be considered in the final address along with the final judgement. The Tribunal however, in its own wisdom, made an exception of preliminary objections seeking to strike out some paragraphs of the respective petitions.
The Legal team of Ngige and APC are already focused on the excepted motions fixed for Monday February 25, 2014 filed by Chief Willie Obiano and seeking to strike out some paragraphs of their petition as this application enjoys the benefit of that exception by the Tribunal.
This to our mind is without prejudice to all other open options in the context of the long battle to restore electoral confidence in Anambra State people through victory in the fight against the discredited elections.
The second motion is tied to a previous order of the Tribunal to physically inspect the election materials at INEC the motion sought to report the findings of the inspection at INEC by getting a member of the inspection team to testify. This application was refused by the Tribunal.
Hence ,by virtue of having been refused there cannot be any documents reported to have been tendered so far particularly as falsely reported by one Okukuwe Ibiam of All progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in many online fora.
It is also very important to state that the application moved by Senator Chris Ngige and backed by other petitioners never sought to tender ‘more exhibits’ as falsely reported, since no exhibit has been tendered in the matter so far. The motion only sought to report the findings ordered by the same Tribunal.
It therefore stands to reason that APGA and Chief Obiano should warn their faithful and operatives to desist from distorting, misrepresenting or putting words in the mouth of a member of the Tribunal, Hon Justice Akintola Akiniyi, who did not and could not have said that APC or Ngige tendered a documents ‘sourced outside the designated office of INEC’.
We urge all APC members, overwhelming supporters and Anambra citizens and Nigerians, desirous of seeing justice done in the Anambra State gubernatorial election saga to remain calm and not be swayed off their feet by distorted information flowing from jittery interested parties which did not emanate from the Tribunal.
We also assure the general public that, our efforts will cover all spectrum within the law to get to the truth and justice of the discredited gubernatorial elections of November 2013, which has been largely contested by all and sundry, save the beneficiaries.
Deputy Director,Media & Publicity
Chris Ngige Campaign Organization-NGIGE 2014
Opposite Government House,