Anambra guber: Court Resumes Uba’s Case Today

The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu will today resume further hearing in the application filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the 2007 election in Anambra state, Dr. Andy Uba,  seeking to be automatically sworn in upon the expiration of the tenure of Governor Peter Obi on March 17, 2010 without any election.

The court presided over by Justice J. S. Ngwuta had in its sitting on September 28 adjourned the case to October 13, following the receipt of an application from Chief Nwafor Orizu,  counsel to the first respondent in the case and a governorship aspirant of the PDP in Anambra, Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu,  that he had already filed for adjournment of the case, pending the ruling of the Supreme Court in his application seeking for an order that election be conducted in the state on February 6 next year. 
However, the court could not sit on the said day as a result of a valedictory court session which was held in honour of a retired Court of Appeal Justice, Justice Alfred Awala. As a result of the development, further hearing in the case was moved to October 19. Sources at the Court of Appeal, Enugu told THISDAY that they were ready for the “special case which would change the political calculations in the country if it goes to a particular direction”, adding that the security operatives, especially the police and the State Security Services (SSS) had been properly briefed to provide adequate security within the court premises today .

 In an interview, counsel to Uba, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN),  stated that his client was in court to possibly put an end to the controversies and confusions that had trailed the governorship seat of Anambra state, noting that it was not the intention of Uba to ridicule the judiciary. “It’s about law. We are very happy that one of the respondents to our application has gone to the Supreme Court seeking for an order for election to be held in Anambra state on February 6 next year.

We are happy because there have been lots of confusion in the minds of the public as to what we are here for. We are here because Mr. A won an election which can only be nullified by the Tribunal or Court of Appeal, but another Mr. U went to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court asking for the elongation of his tenure. “The Apex court granted his prayers that he should go and exhaust his tenure, but later, the Court of Appeal sitting here in Enugu gave a ruling setting aside the ruling of the lower tribunal which had struck out the same case based on the Supreme Court ruling, making it clear that the dismissal of the matter based on the Supreme Court ruling was erroneous. We are therefore here to insist that there should be consequential relief that should be granted to the benefit of the appellant whose application had succeeded at the Appeal level,” he stated. 

Also speaking, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Chief Amaechi Nwaiwu , told THISDAY that they were ready to go on with the case, stating that the final decision would be taken by the court. THISDAY checks revealed that in event the appellate court decides the case in favour of the appellant, Uba, it would mean that the gubernatorial election scheduled to be conducted in Anambra state next February would be automatically called off.