The Anambra State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Awka on Thursday began hearing of petitions challenging Chief Willie Obiano’s declaration as governor-elect in the November 2013 election.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Ishaq Bello, resumed hearing after a one-week break.
At the resumed hearing, Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress in his petition against Obiano, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the All Progressives Congress, sought to tender exhibits from the bar.
The exhibits included voters’ register used in the November 16, 17 and 30, 2013 governorship election across the state as well as forms EC8A of various polling units.
However, Counsel to Ngige, Chief Olarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), only tendered the documents from five wards of Aguata Local Government Area.
The five wards were Achina, Aguluezechukwu, Akpo, Amesi and Ekwulobia.
The other documents tendered were ballot paper account, Oath of Neutrality and the list of Ad hoc staff employed during the election.
Ngige’s petition was adjourned to March 14 for continuation.
Meanwhile, the tribunal refused application urging it to dismiss Dr. Chike Obidigbo’s petition against them for lack of seriousness.
The counsel to INEC, APGA and Obiano, who brought the application, said the petitioner was not showing diligence in prosecuting the case.
Counsel to Obidigbo, J. O. Onwujekwe, had applied for a short adjournment to enable him prepare adequately for the hearing.
Onwujekwe said that certain documents were not available for the day’s proceedings.
However, Counsel to INEC, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), contended that the petitioner was not showing diligence in prosecuting his case.
“The excuse of a subpoena is not a good reason for postponing an election petition, which is time-bound,” Awomolo said.
In his argument, Counsel to APGA, Patrick Ikweto, said that the petitioners were in default of the order made by the tribunal earlier.
In its ruling, however, the tribunal maintained that it would play to the rule of fairness and not promote rancour and injustice.
Bello, therefore, adjourned the case to March 19 to enable Obidigbo’s counsel produce necessary documents needed to prosecute his petition.