?        Ngige,APC continue tendering Tuesday
 
From Ada Bosa
 
Dr Chike Obidigbo of the All Progressive Grand Alliance at the weekend opened his case before the Anambra State Election Petitions Tribunal as trial begins in the first of the four suits before the three-man panel led by Hon Justice Ishaq Belllo.
Obidigbo is seeking an order of the Tribunal to declare him the winner of the elections, being the only authentic and properly nominated candidate of APGA. Obidigbo on the first day of trial called one witness and brought five documents to the view of the Tribunal.
Led in evidence by Nzeoba Maduabuchi Esq., Counsel for the 1st Petitioner, the first witness, Mr Dili Nwokeabia, who said his occupation is farming and food processing, after taking an affirmation oath by the Tribunal Secretary adopted and relied on his affidavit of 20th December 2013 as his evidence before the Tribunal.
Nwokeabia told the Tribunal on Friday that he served in the six-man Screening Committee which screened and approved the candidature of Obidigbo for APGA.
He confirmed a copy of the certificate of return issued by the returning officer  in he APGA primaries that threw up Obidigbo as a candidate as correct and same was tendered in the Tribunal for identification only of the original expected to be tendered by other witnesses lined up for the Tribunal. It was marked as ?Exhibit P(ID)A?.
The witness had said he would identify the certificate by ?the party logo on it and the name of the returning officer, Dr Obasahon?.
Under Cross examination by Counsel to Chief Willie Obiano (the fist Respondent), Onyebuchi Ikpeazu SAN, Nwokeabia admitted knowing Chief Victor Umeh and Alhaji Shinkafi. He said Shinkafi was elected secretary of APGA in 2002 while he does not know when Umeh was elected.
He admitted that he had not carried out any other assignment for APGA and that the Ward Secretary f APGA in his home ward in Enugu State did not show him his membership card.
The cross examination went thus:
Ikpeazu : Have you carried out any other assignment for APGA apart form this one (membership of the screening panel)
Nwokeabia : No
Ikpeazu :Is it not customary for APGA to issue membership cards.
Nwokeabia : It is not customary for APGA to issue cards. Members purchase cards from their wards.
Ikpeazu : Who is your Ward Secretary?
Nwokeabia : Mr Okechukwu Nnanta
Ikpeazu :Do you know a person called Victor Umeh
Nwokeabia : Yes, I do
Ikpeazu : Do you know when he was elected National Chairman of APGA
Nwokeabia : I do not know when he was elected National Chairman of APGA
Ikpeazu : Do you know Alhaji Shinkafi?
Nwokeabia :Yes
Ikpeazu :Do you know when he was elected APGA National Secretary ?
Nwokeabia: He was elected in 2002
Ikpeazu: Are you aware that the certificate you tendered was never signed by Alhaji Shinkafi?
Nwokeabia: Yes, I am aware
 
Under cross examination from Counsel to INEC, (Second Respondent) Nwokeabia said he was not in Anambra State during the November 16, 2013 Gubernatorial elections and did not vote, being from Enugu State and living in his home state. He also said he was aware that INEC published the names of the 1st Respondent (Willie Obiano) and other candidates and was also aware that INEC declared Obiano ?duly elected?.
He acknowledged knowing that INEC published a list of candidate qualified for the elections; based on nomination from political parties and said the secretary of his screening committee was Mr Lascon Inyama.
The examination went thus:
INEC lawyer : Are you aware that INEC publishes the names of candidates qualified to participate in the elections?
Nwokeabia :Yes
INEC Lawyer: You are also aware that INEC publishes this list based on the nominations submitted to it by political parties
Nwokeabia: Yes, I am aware
INEC lawyer: Are you aware that INEC published the name of the Ist Respondnet, Chief Wille Obiano and other candidates before the election?
Nwokeabia: I am aware
INEC lawyer: You are also aware that INEC returned the 1st Respondent as duly elected
Nwokeabia: I am aware
INEC lawyer: Did you cast your vote on 16th November 2013?
Nwokeabia: I am not from Anambra State. I am from Enugu State.
 
Counsel for INEC had earlier produced two documents to the tribunal at the request of Obidigbo through his lawyers. They are INEC?s acknowledgement of receipt of his nomination from APGA and a court order requesting INEC to accept his candidature.
The documents are however yet to be admitted in evidence because the witnesses through which they would be tendered have not testified.
The matter has been adjourned to Wednesday 26th March 2014 for continuation of hearing.
Meanwhile Senator Chris Ngige and the All Progressive Congress (APC) return to the Tribunal n Tuesday 25th March to conclude the tendering of his certified exhibits. The bulk of outstanding exhibits are those not provided or withheld by INEC.
It was not immediately clear last week if Ngige & APC will open their case on that day.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.