Law News
S’Court upholds Obiano’s victory as Ngige loses appeals
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed three separate appeals challenging the victory of Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra State in the main and supplementary governorship elections held on November 15, 17 and 30, 2013.

In three unanimous judgments, the apex court dismissed the separate appeals filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Chris Ngige, the Peoples Democratic Party and another one by its candidate, Chief Tony Nwoye.

The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court held that the appellants “failed woefully” to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by proving that the election was conducted without substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.

The court dismissed all the grounds of their appeal including allegation that there was massive disenfranchisement of voters and that Obiano was not qualified to stand for the election on the basis that he had engaged in double voter registration.

Justice Kumai Akaahs, who delivered the lead judgment in Ngige’s appeal, held that, “Having resolved the three issues against the appellant in favour of the respondents, without further ado, we came to the following conclusion that the appellant did not prove the criminal allegation of double or multiple registrations against the 25th respondent (Obiano) let alone to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

“On the evidence adduced before the tribunal, the 25th respondent was qualified to contest the Anambra State governorship election. Indeed the appellant’s allegations of corrupt practices of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act were not proved in the first place let alone showing that ground that it substantially affected the outcome of the election pursuant to provisions of Section 139(1) of the Electoral Act.

“The appellant having failed woefully to demonstrate why this court should interfere with the concurrent findings of facts of the two lower courts, in the final analysis, this appeal is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

Both Justices Kayode Ariwoola and John Okoro, who delivered the lead judgments in the separate appeals filed by Nwoye and the PDP, also dismissed the various appeals on the grounds that they lacked merit. The same set of justices who sat on the three appeals concurred with the lead judgments.

The appellants had filed their various appeals to the Supreme Court, challenging the July 26, 2014 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, affirming the earlier verdict of the Governorship/Legislative Elections Petitions Tribunal in Awka.

The tribunal had upheld the result by the Independent National Electoral Commission declaring Obiano as the winner of the election.

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