Anambra Poll: Ngige Heads for Tribunal

The Action Congress candidate in the February 6, 2010 governorship election in Anambra State, Dr Chris Ngige has formally filed a petition challenging the victory of the All Progressive Grand Allaince candidate, Mr. Peter Obi. Ngige who filed the petition at about 2pm yesterday at the Election Petition Tribunal in Awka, said that the petition is basically against INEC, who he accused of declaring Mr. Obi

winner even though he did not obtain the required 25 per cent of all the votes cast in two-thirds of the local governments in the state.   

In his petition number EPT/G/AN/2/2010, Peter Obi is listed as the first respondent, while the returning officer and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner are co-respondents. 

Ngige who addressed newsmen soon after filing his petition said that by declaring Obi winner of the election, INEC contravened the constitution of the country from where it derives its powers. 

He cited Sections 179 (2) (a) and (b), and 179 (3) (a) and (b), stating that in a case where a clear winner does not emerge from an election, there is provision for a run-off for the candidate with the highest vote and the first runner up. 
Ngige said that he was petitioning against the INEC to go back and conclude the election in accordance with the aforesaid relevant sections of the constitution.

“INEC was supposed to conduct a run-off between myself and Obi, as he didn’t win 25% of votes cast in two-thirds of Anambra’s 21 council areas going by the official statistics of the result released by the commission,” he declared.
He said he was not contesting the results of the election as that would mean going through the nitty-gritty of collating local government by local government results, the obvious irregularities in the election, and the incidence of violence and kidnapping of his party agents on election day. 

“We are also urging INEC to bring a proper voters’ register and let the people elect their governor, a governor can not be elected by 97,000 people as against 1.8million voters. 
“There is no where in the world where just 16 per cent of all the voters would be described as credible, while 84 per cent of our voters were disenfranchised.  

“My major suit is against INEC, but there are some people who would be entangled in it as a consequence,” he said. 
Ngige maintained the election was inconclusive “because INEC did not follow the constitution religiously, they will come back here and conduct another election. 

“The constitution makes all that very clear, and where there is anything short of the requirements, there is a run off. 
“The constitution even has provisions for a third election, it is called a second run-off, and here the candidate with the highest number of votes is simply declared a winner.” 

He added that the petition is not about him being declared governor, but wanting to set the record straight and to prevail on INEC to do what is right for the sake of Anambra people. 
He maintained that he has all that it takes to pursue the case to a logical conclusion, while stating that his party AC was consulted before filing the petition.   

Ngige is the second candidate in the Anambra election to file a petition at the tribunal contesting the victory of Peter Obi on February 6. 
Hope Democratic Party had through its counsel and running-mate of the governorship candidate, Barr Mike Okoye, filed theirs a week ago. 
The tribunal will on Monday March 8, stop entertaining petitions.