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Anambra Election: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Soludo’s Victory

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Anambra Election: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Soludo’s Victory
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Anambra Election: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Soludo’s Victory

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed a suit seeking disqualification of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, as the governor-elect of Anambra State.

Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo in a judgment delivered in a suit instituted by two voters in Anambra, Adindu Valentine and Chukwuebuka Egwudike, described the suit as frivolous, irritating, baseless, and lacking in merit.

He accused the two plaintiffs of seeking to use the court as a tool to scuttle democracy. He awarded a punitive cost of N2 million against them to be paid to Soludo and his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim.

The plaintiffs – Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka – had in the suit contended that Soludo provided false information in the affidavit (Form EC9) that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and should be deemed unqualified to stand for election.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, the plaintiffs claimed that Soludo indicated, in the affidavit, that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat when in fact, he was contesting the Anambra governorship seat and his deputy claimed to be contesting Awka constituency instead of Anambra deputy governorship.

Defendants in the suit are INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo and Ibezim.

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In their final submission, plaintiffs’ lawyers, A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, had argued that having indicated the wrong constituency he was contesting, Soludo supplied INEC with false information, violated extant legal provisions, and ought to be disqualified.

“The constitution has made a state a constituency in relation to the governorship election, but in this case, the third defendant (Soludo) named Aguata 2 as the constituency he is contesting,” Ijeri said.

But in his judgment, Justice Taiwo held that the two plaintiffs failed woefully to establish how the alleged wrong in the constituency affected or misled them as voters and in any other capacity.

Anambra Election: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Soludo’s Victory

The judge said that apart from the alleged wrongful disclosure of constituency, Soludo as the third defendant made it clear in other parts of his affidavit on oath that he was contesting the Anambra governorship election while Ibezim as the fourth defendant also indicated in other parts of his affidavit that he was contesting deputy governorship.

“From the processes filed in this suit and which I have carefully perused, the two plaintiffs did not convince the court on how they were misled by the information.

“No aspects of the 1999 Constitution as amended or any part of the Electoral Act 2010 compel 3rd and 4th defendants (Soludo and Ibezim) to name constituency as a condition for qualification to stand for election.

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“Lawyers as ministers in the temple of justice should always counsel politicians against rushing to court with frivolous suits that will achieve no purpose than to waste the precious time of the court.

“As a matter of fact, I am yet to come to terms with the purpose this suit is to serve. This suit is not reasonable.

“Giving false information is a criminal offence and proof of an allegation of supplying false information must be beyond a reasonable doubt.

“It is high time Nigerians come together to deepen democracy and not to use frivolous suits to stagnate it and this is in our own interest,” he said.

Justice Taiwo, who wondered the motive behind the suit, noted with dismay that apart from the alleged wrongful disclosure of constituencies, no other aspects of the laws were alleged to have been breached by Soludo and Ibezim including their educational qualifications.

Lead counsel to APGA and Soludo, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) had argued that the suit was without merit and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

Ikpeazu contended that error in an affidavit cannot be a basis to disqualify a candidate from an election, noting that the false information contemplated in Section 31 of the Electoral Act was criminal. in nature.

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He further argued that the false information claimed by the plaintiff was not among the grounds stated in the Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.

“False information, as envisaged in section 31 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature. Section 31 does not deal with error, but a deliberate effort to steal a match and to misrepresent.

“The contention that the 14 days required under Section 285(9) of the Constitution, should accrue from the date the first respondent (INEC) received those affidavits, has no supporting foundation,” he said.

Ikpeazu urged the court to uphold the preliminary objection filed by his clients and dismiss the case.

Lawyer to Ibezim, C. Mbaeri argued in a similar vein and prayed the court to uphold his objection and dismiss the suit.

Lawyer to INEC, Bashir Abubakar said his client did not file any process in the case and has elected to leave the decision at the discretion of the court.

Justice Taiwo however disagreed with Ikpeazu that the suit was statute barred as at the time it was filed while he also held that the court had jurisdiction to hear the case as he did.

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Anambra State 2021 Governorship Election Sets to be Nullified

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Anambra State Election Sets to be Nullified
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Anambra State 2021 Governorship Election Sets to be Nullified

The Anambra state November 6 governorship election petition tribunal was held in the early hours of today Saturday 15th, Jan, 2022, Chrysora Media reports.

The tribunal was relocated to Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state for some reason not yet known to Chrysora Media as well as the public.

Information from our correspondence in Ilorin, the venue of the tribunal hearing indicates that APGA has filed her responses.

But curiously, INEC is yet to obey the tribunal order granting access to APC and Andy Uba to inspect all the electoral materials used during the election.

ALSO READ:  Anambra PDP assures aspirants of credible primary election.

We were also told that INEC has not issued Andy Uba with the CTC of the results as collated and announced on November 6 and 9, 2021.

The attitude of INEC should disturb every discerning mind. The electoral commission has continued to act in a manner which suggests that the election was never free, fair and credible.

So far, Andy Uba who is the major party in the tribunal has a case against APGA, Soludo and INEC.

It is not to be suprising if Andy Uba is declared winner or the November 6 governorship election is nuliffied. The court works with the evidence before it.

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Soludo And Obiano Fight Intensifies As Obiano Sets To Release List Of Inauguration Committee

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Soludo And Obiano Fight Intensifies As Obiano Sets To Release List Of Inauguration Committee
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Soludo And Obiano Fight Intensifies As Obiano Sets To Release List Of Inauguration Committee

Because of the anger incurred as a result of the 80 man Transition Committee list set up by the Anambra State Gov-Elect, Prof Soludo, the outgoing government is set at any moment from now to release a list of members of the inauguration committee.

The list of the inauguration committee will be populated by his boys and trusted allies as a retaliation against the incoming administration.

Chrysora Media learnt from AIF Media that about 600 million naira has been budgeted for the inauguration and that the incoming administration sees such amount for only inauguration as ridiculous.

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He, the incoming admin was said to have angrily told those close to him that he would prefer being sworn-in an office than wasting a whooping sum of 600 million naira on his inauguration.

In a related development, there are also disagreements on the collection of IGR. Chrysora Media also learnt from AIF Media that major IGR points are being contracted out by an administration that will leave office in less than two months without consulting the incoming.

The fight is becoming more intensified and obvious. We will keep waiting for the outcome as Chrysora Media is set to keep updating you.

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Buni-led Panel To Meet On Tuesday Over APC Convention

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Buni-led Panel To Meet On Tuesday Over APC Convention
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Buni-led Panel To Meet On Tuesday Over APC Convention

The national caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will meet on Tuesday to discuss the convention of the party.

TheCable learnt that the decision of the caretaker committee to meet is coming on the heels of a meeting of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).

“Following Sunday’s scheduled meeting of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, the party’s caretaker committee will meet on Tuesday, 18th January, 2022 on the convention,” a source said.

Last week, Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau state, said the exact date of the convention planned for February will be announced after a meeting of the APC governors on Sunday.

ALSO READ:  Anambra PDP assures aspirants of credible primary election.

Buni-led Panel To Meet On Tuesday Over APC Convention

“By Sunday, we will tell you when we’re doing the convention. We have taken a date already,” Lalong had said.

“We said we are going to do a convention in February and we are still working for the convention. As far as I’m concerned, except things change from another angle, we’re working for our convention in February.”

However, no date was communicated after the meeting.

In November, Atiku Bagudu, chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), said President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed February 2022 for the APC to hold its convention.

“So, the governors, based on all these, suggested that the party and the president should graciously consider February and the president is favourably disposed to the suggestion,” Bagudu had said at the time.

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