Ninety-seven defeated candidates of various political parties in the March 28/April 11, 2015 general elections have filed petitions before the Election Petitions Tribunals in Abia, Anambra and Imo states.
While the two tribunals in Abia and Anambra will entertain 30 cases apiece, the tribunal in Imo will resolve 37 election petitions.
The figures were made public yesterday at the inaugural sessions of the tribunals in the three states.
Chairman of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Abia, Justice M. B. Wakili, said that it had received 30 petitions to be dispensed within the 180 days provided by Section 258 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Other members of the three-member tribunal are Justice P. I. Ajoku and Justice A. E. Adesodun.
The tribunal will sit at the Abia State High Court IV, Umuahia.
Already, the tribunal has granted the request of the former governor of the state and PPA candidate for the Abia North Senatorial zone in the 2015 elections, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, to inspect the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s documents for the election and to serve the first respondent, Mao Ohuabunwa through substituted means.
In granting Kalu’s prayers, Justice Wakili said the inspection of the documents, including the ballot papers and result sheets, and the service to the respondents by substituted means, would be done within seven days from the day of service and adjourned the matter till May 15, 2015.
He urged the support and cooperation of those involved in the cases, warning that the petitions must adhere to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.
Also, the tribunal granted the prayer of the APGA candidate for Abia North Senatorial Zone, David Ogba Onuoha, to serve Ohuabunwa by substituted service.
While Dr. Ejike Orji, AOGA candidate for Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi federal constituency was granted leave to serve the House of Representatives -elect , Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, Nnamdi Iro Orji, APGA candidate for Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency was granted leave to serve the member-elect, Uko Nkole.
Counsel to the petitioners, Chidozie Ogunji, said he was excited and would expedite the service within the stipulated time.
In Imo State, the tribunal sitting in Owerri, the state capital, has received 37 petitions from defeated candidates in the just concluded state and national elections.
The petitions include eight for Senate, 18 for House of Representatives and 11 for the state House of Assembly’s seats.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that the tribunal was yet to receive any petition on the April 11 governorship election won by incumbent Governor Rochas Okorocha.
The three-man tribunal panel headed by Justice A. Y. Sanya has Justice S. O. Falola and Justice P.P. Idiong as members.
At its maiden session yesterday, three of the five motions presented before the tribunal were adjoined till May 13 for further hearing while two others were heard.
The APC which lost the three senatorial seats and eight House of Representatives seats to the PDP is the main challenger of the election results.
In Anambra State, the National and State Assemblies Elections Petition Tribunal was inaugurated yesterday in Awka, the state capital.
The three-man panel is led by Justice Joseph Ananabo while Justice I. B. Garba and Justice N. K. Hamidu are members.
At the inaugural sitting, Ananabo warned petitioners that the tribunal would not tolerate any attempt to subvert or manipulate the course of justice and urged them and their counsel to maintain decency and respect for one anothers while arguing their cases.
He noted that election matters were very serious cases which cannot be treated with levity and stated that any attempt to try to sway the members of the panel in one way or the other, would not work.
He assured all the parties that the proceedings would be guided strictly by the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution (as amended) while decisions of the tribunal would be based on body of facts and evidence before it as well as rules guiding electoral matters.
On behalf of the Anambra Forum of Chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the Awka branch chairman, Mr. Uba Anene, pledged that, “the Bar will co-operate with you to ensure that matters are discharged effectively and we shall have course to rejoice at the end of your stay in Awka.”
The tribunal Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Ekperobe, disclosed that petitions before it included four on the Senate election, 12 on the House of Representatives polls and 14 on the state House of Assembly contest.

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