by Segun Odeleye
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday began the process of challenging the victory of Willie Obiano as governor-elect of Anambra state, by filing a motion at the state Election Petition Tribunal in Awka.
The party is praying for an order to seek the leave of the tribunal to file and bring an ex parte application outside of the pre-hearing sessions of the tribunal.
It stated that granting it the permit would enable it inspect and make copies of all the polling documents used in the conduct of the state governorship election held on November 16, 17 and 30.
Although the tribunal members are yet to be appointed, the party in a motion ex parte brought pursuant to Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010, (as amended) is asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state who are all respondents in petition (EPT/AN/GOV/01m/2013) to make available copies of all the polling documents used in the election particularly specified in schedule 1.
The grounds for the application prepared by the offices of Emeka Ngige and Co and Bona Orakwue and Co, the APC said, were that it is a registered political party that took part in the state governorship election held on the 16 and concluded on November 30.
Others are that it was dissatisfied with the outcome of the said election and intends to challenge same via a petition to be filed shortly in “this Tribunal,” and that the applicant needs to inspect and make copies of the electoral documents in the custody of the respondents for the purpose of instituting and maintaining the said petition.
It contended that it was humanly impracticable to file and bring this application during the pre-hearing sessions after the closure of pleadings, and that the leave of the tribunal is required to file and bring same outside of the pre-hearing sessions,” adding that it will be in the interest of justice to grant the reliefs sought in the application.
The schedule to the motion, the application itemised, include (i) voters’ register used in the conduct of the governorship election held on the 16, 17 and 30 of November.
(ii) Forms EZ8A, EC8C, EC8D, and EC8E used in the conduct of the said election.
(iii) Forms EC17 (oath of neutrality) deposed to by the permanent and ad hoc staff involved in the conduct of the said election on the stipulated dates; (iv) Forms EC.25B (Election material Receipt) used in the conduct of the election.
(v) Forms EC40A, 40C, 40D,40G used in the conduct of the election (iv) The comprehensive list of all ad hoc staff engaged by the respondents for the conduct of the said election.
(vii)Payment vouchers for settlement of the allowances of the ad hoc staff engaged by the respondents, counter foils of the ballot paper booklets issued to the various polling units in the said election as well as actual ballot papers used and thumb-printed and counted ballot papers as valid used in the said governorship election.
The APC is also asking for the provision of the speech delivered by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, at the stakeholders meeting held at the women development centre, Awka, on November 13 and the nomination papers filed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for its candidate in the governorship election.
The application is dated December 2.