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Tension Mounts Ahead Of Nigeria’s Election

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has once again re-affirmed that he is innocent of the charges of alleged multiple registrations brought against him at the on-going sittings of the Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Ishaq Bello in Awka, the State capital.

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The governor restated his innocence yesterday at the resumed hearing of petitions EPT/AN/GOV/02/2013 filed by Senator Dr. Chris Ngige and Anor versus INEC and 4 others, EPT/AN/GOV/03/2013 filed by PDP versus INEC and 25 others and EPT/AN/GOV/04/2013 filed by Tony Nwoye versus INEC and 25 others respectively.
Testifying in evidence-in-chief, Obiano adopted his deposition before the tribunal saying he ?had applied for the transfer of his voter?s card from Lagos to Anambra State, which he later attached with the application which the tribunal in the absence of any objection from the other parties admitted in evidence and marked Exhibit ?RR 428.
Continuing, Obiano dismissed the document purporting that he registered ?as a voter at the ?polling unit 004, ?Eri Primary School , Aguleri on?August 21, last year, just as he stated that the only voter card issued by INEC in his possession was the certified copy the tribunal admitted in evidence and marked as ?Exhibit RR 429.
?Everything I did was is at the EO?s office, Otuocha on?August 19?last year,?Obiano?explained.??Offering further insight on how he came about the only voter card in his possession, the governor explained thus ? ?On August 19, 2013, I applied to REC in the presence of Nsofor, the Electoral Officer at Otuocha and based on his advice, I was asked ?to apply to the Resident Electoral Commissioner ?and after attaching the letter of transfer ?of my voter?s card from Lagos to Awka I submitted to INEC office.
?He asked me to come back in two days? time being?August 21, last year. On?August 21, when I came he, said ?I should fill a form which I did. I also did my biometrics in his office. Thereafter, he asked that within two weeks I should go to the REC?s ?office and collect my voter?s card, This is the only voter?s card I have,???the governor further explained. The tribunal admitted it in evidence and marked it Exhibit RR430.
Obiano also told the tribunal that he neither witnessed inanimate objects vote nor did he see under-aged persons take part in the election in the polling unit he voted?between?12.30 pm to 12.45 pm.
He also said that he voted in the 2011 election in Lagos just as he clarified that he had neither worked?in INEC nor had he registered before in Anambra State.
When asked if he had an INEC voter card, Obiano affirmed that the copy of the voter?s card he used for his Nomination Form CF001 which was admitted in evidence and marked Exhibit RR 430, which he said was the same card he registered in his nomination form.
Under cross examination, Obiano was asked by Ayotunde Ogunleye, standing in for Awomolo SAN, counsel for INEC respondents, ? whether he voted in the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election and he admitted so.
Said he: ?Before voting in the November 16, 2013 governorship election, I presented myself before the polling clerk at the polling unit and after checking, it was confirmed that my name was found in the INEC voter?s register and?I was duly accredited and allowed to vote at the polling unit 004 at Eri.?
When cross examined by APGA counsel, Ikwueto, Obiano agreed that he had agents in the 4608 polling units in the 21 local government areas of the state, from ?whom he got reports on ?the election as he never moved out from his unit after his accreditation until he voted.
Under cross examination by Emeka Ngige (SAN), Obiano told the court that the name he bears as Willie is an abbreviation of the name William found in his NYSC and University of Lagos certificates.
Obiano said the registration he did in Anambra state was a transfer, emphasizing that his transfer was a normal registration.
Against the backdrop of claim by Ngige that he submitted his letter to EO ?on September 2, 2013, Obiano denied it and said part of the information could not be seen from a photocopy of the document presented to him to examine, ?noting that ?he would not ?know whether ? the letter ?was forwarded on schedule or ?when it got to INEC.

source : James Eze

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