Search Site: OnlineNigeria


I'm Yet to Be Served Tribunal Judgement, Says Ngige

Posted by By Ndubuisi Francis in Lagos and Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja on 2005/08/22 | Views: 400 |

I'm Yet to Be Served Tribunal Judgement, Says Ngige

One week after his election was nullified by the Election Petition Tribunal in Awka, embattled Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige of Anambra State yesterday affirmed that he was yet to be served a copy of the judgement even as one of his aides alleged that there was a grand plot to doctor the verdict.

One week after his election was nullified by the Election Petition Tribunal in Awka, embattled Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige of Anambra State yesterday affirmed that he was yet to be served a copy of the judgement even as one of his aides alleged that there was a grand plot to doctor the verdict.

The disclosure came amid rising show of solidarity to the govenor by various groups in the country.

Ngige who spoke at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos in response to a solidarity rally by a pro-Igbo group--Congress for Igbo Agenda, said he was not perturbed by the judgement since he has implicit confidence that the Court of Appeal would not endorse a miscarriage of justice.
The Anambra governor who said he was from Abuja and decided to make a stop over in Lagos to consult with his team of lawyers, assured the group that he was confident of getting justice from the Court of Appeal.

"I want to first and foremost register my appreciation for this impromptu visit. I am actually on my way back from Abuja and I decided to make a bit stopover in Lagos for some meetings with a team of my lawyers. I want to also assure you that we will get justice. I have been a person that believes in the rule of law because democracy is anchored on the rule of law...
"We have said it before that there is a miscarriage of justice; there was a travesty of justice. The result or the declaration that Mr. Peter Obi should be declared winner did not follow a full compliance of it. Whatever they read there, even the result they were tabulating. You don't tabulate result halfway; a personal result. You don't just go and contest the validity of some votes without asking the markers of the votes to come forward", Ngige said.

He noted that the presiding officers in the election were not made respondents, adding that grounds of injustic meted out to him by the judgement were legion.

The govenor noted that "you cannot attack results. You did not (referring to Peter Obi) join some INEC (Independent National Electoral Commision) officials to come and say what happened.

"Peter Obi did not join our presiding officer. Even (Major Gen. Muhammadu) Buhari (ANPP Presidential candidate), as large as the country is, he joined about 45, among them, presiding officers. Therefore, that is vital to the case as far as I am concerned. And this same tribunal had also ruled in George Moghalu (ANPP Governorship candidate in Anambra) vs Ngige, that that particular issue is important to any case", he said.

Ngige said the judgement of the tribunal in that circumstance was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Enugu presided by Justice Salami who ruled that Moghalu's inability to join relevant respondents was wrong.

"I can go on and on reeling out the ground of injustice; they are legion. These are some of the planks for our appeal and just as I have told Anambra people, justice will come our way. It will be ridiculous, unbelievable and it will be very incongrous that in the 2003 election, of all the PDP governors, I am the only one that is being ruled out.

"Therefore, I will keep on saying that all those who are planning this are not God. It is only God who can take a final decision on any matter. We are going to the Appeal Court with a full battery of legal men and there, we shall open the fire-power", he said, expressing optimism that the Appeal Court would dispense justice.

Earlier, leader of the Congress for Igbo Agenda, Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace had in his speech assured Ngige that Ndigbo were solidly behind him.
According to him, many Igbos had called to know how best to show solidarity, adding that "we want to let you know that Ndigbo are solidly behind you".

"If anybody could try anything to remove you from your position or stop the good work you have been doing, no matter what may, we are assuring them that South East will know no peace. We will make it ungovernable," he said.
Apart from the Congress for Igbo Agenda, other groups that have shown solidarity with Ngige are the South East People's Assembly (SEPA), National Patriotic Front (NPF) and Ozuruigbo.

In separate reactions, the groups rejected the verdict of the tribunal, describing it as "kangaroo".

The NPF, in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Ali Abacha, said the judgement was a kangaroo verdict that could never be sustained by an appellate court.

"Like the case of Adamawa State, the judgement of the election tribunal, declaring APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance) winner will fail at the appeals", the statement read.

Abacha urged the citizenry in Anambra to remain calm and law abiding while standing firmly behind their governor "in this trying period of his political career".

In its own reaction, Ozuruigbo, through its President-General, Dr. Batos Nwadike, said his group received the news of the recent ruling with shock, describing it as another "terror attack".

While expressing confidence in the judiciary, especially the ability of the appellate court to "right this micarriage of justice," the group said it would not hesitate to mobilise its followers to the ECOWAS Court and the World Court in the event that the appeal failed to reverse the decision of the election tribunal.

On its part SEPA said it has resolved to be on the side of history by standing firmly behind Ngige "until final victory is won by the grace of God."
It noted that "every patriotic Igboman must rise to defend our brightest hope. It must not be for any selfish gains or personal aggrandisement, rather it must be for posterity. What Ngige stands for in Igboland and Nigeria is making some people very uncomfortable especially those who do not wish ourpeople well.

"The Governor has set the highest standard for service delivery in Igboland and agents of darkness are unhappy about this," a statement endorsed by the group's National Co-ordinator, Mr. Elvis Agukwe read.

Meanwhile, an aide to Ngige yesterday alleged that following the flaws pointed out in the verdict by the governor's lawyers, the judgement has been sent to a judge of an Ogun State High Court for doctoring.

The aide who made the disclosure when the Congress for Igbo Agenda paid a solidarity visit to Ngige in Lagos said the latest move by the governor's traducers was also inspired by the repudiation of the verdict by the ANPP gubernatorial candidate in the April 19, 2003 election.

After last Friday's judgement by the Election Petition Tribunal in Awka declaring Obi winner of the governorship election in Anambra, Ngige's lawyers had flawed the verdict on 12 grounds.

Among this was that the lower tribunal erred in law when it assumed jurisdiction to entertain the election petition despite the fact that it clearly lacked jurisdiction to do so.

According to the lawyers, under Section 265(a) of the 1999 Constitution the election tribunal vested with the jurisdiction to entertain a governorship election petition is the Governorship and Legislative Election Tribunal

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (6)

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding