Tuesday, December 21, 2021 10:47 pm
After weeks of uncertainty over rumour that the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election Petitions Tribunal would relocate to Abuja, the matter was on Tuesday laid to rest, with its relocation from Awka to Ilorin, Kwara state capital.
It was gathered today that the President of the Appeal Court, Hon Justice Dongban Mensem, directed the relocation.
Confirming this, the tribunal secretary, Bar Surajo Gusau, told Daily Trust on phone that he was already in Ilorin.
“The tribunal will now sit in Ilorin Kwara state and no longer Awka Anambra state,” he said.
Gusau also added that no reason was given for the change of venue, stating that when reason is given, the petitioners and respondents as well as the media would be contacted.
There had been reports that the tribunal would sit in Abuja for fear of insecurity but the tribunal secretary had dismissed it.
However, the judges are yet to hold the mandatory pre- hearing conference.
The tribunal made its first and only appearance two weeks ago when it struck out the petition filed by the candidate of the Accord Party, AP, Dr Godwin Maduka, and granted the applications by the duo of Prof Soludo and Sen Andy Uba for them to inspect materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the election.
However, when contacted, the Special Adviser to Gov Willie Obiano on political matters, Bar Ifeatu Obiokoye, said the party’s lawyers have petitioned against the change of venue.
The Deputy Director, Senator Andy Uba Governorship Campaign Organization (SAUGCO), Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia, said the party would appeal against the relocation.
According to him, the party would have preferred a situation where it is moved to Abuja to enable parties participate without much stress.
“Abuja would have been the best place. All the parties in the suit have their offices in Abuja and will be easy for any to produce any material in Abuja than Ilorin. We will appeal against that very soon.” he said.
It would be recalled that the tribunal was constituted to handle complaints from the November 6 Governorship election. The APC, AP and AAA are notable among parties which filed petitions at the tribunal.