Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Imo Throws in Abia Towel / Abuja Swears in Anambra Senators
Mobolaji E. Aluko , Ph.D.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
For background, please see:
The Whole Story - Elder Dan Imo’s “My Stolen
Anambra’s Multiple Legislators - 6 Senators Instead of 3
I. The Comedy, Logic, Mathematics – and
Wonder - of the Imo/Wabara Saga
Quite honestly, I no longer know who rigged the Abia South Senatorial Elections of April 12, 2003: whether it was Elder Dan Chinyere Imo of ANPP or incumbent Senator Adolphus Wabara of PDP. But I was convinced that the PROCESS of adjudicating this issue was currently being rigged against Imo…..
Until Dan Imo withdrew all petitions against Wabara this evening…..
But first things first….The Sequence of Events ….
According to both Imo and Wabara, after elections were over on April 12, five local government INEC returning officers returned their election results to the Senatorial District Returning officer in Umuahia, one Mr. Festus Ukagwu. It appears that Wabara won in four of those local governments, and Imo won by 55 votes in the fifth one.
So everyone was expectant of the sixth local government results – that of Obingwa Local Government.
Suddenly one man called Solomon Ogunju Nwabor came in with the Obingwa results, claiming to be the INEC returning agent. Without further ado, the INEC officer Festus proceeded to add Solomon’s results to that of the other five LG’s, with Adolphus and Dan in attendance. Lo and behold, Dan’s votes in Obingwa overwhelmed those of Adolphus so much so that he beat Adolphus by 7,636 votes overall.
See Table 1 – the column that read “Votes according to D.C. Imo B”.
Festus proceeded to issue the Certificate of Return to Dan (on Form EC8 E), with Dan elated and Adolphus pretty downcast. Dan went out rejoicing, while Adolphus, for some reason, stuck around.
But soon after the issue of that certificate, a man came bounding in, saying with heavy breathing that he was the TRUE Obingwa INEC returning officer, and that INEC Umuahia had just been “419ed” by Solomon. When he was asked to produce his own Obingwa results, it turned out that Adolphus had won the Abia South Senatorial district, beating Dan by 5,576 votes overall.
See Table 1 – the column that reads “Votes according to A. Wabara A”.
The table shows that Solomon’s data are not entirely fictitious, and that if there was a rigging by Imo, it was effected by a deflation of Wabara’s Obingwa results. However, if there was rigging by Wabara, it was an inflation of his Obingwa results.
Anyway, Festus then proceeded to issue ANOTHER Certificate of Return , this time to Adolphus, with Adolphus now pretty elated – but Dan no where to be found.
But he was just outside the hall, and upon being told the new news, he was called in to give up the certificate earlier issued to him. Very calmly, Dan stated that he should be given a minute to go to his car to retrieve it – whereupon he jumped into his car and headed straight to Abuja where he submitted his result to the INEC webmaster to have it posted.
Festus writes to Abia State Resident Electoral commissioner stating that
…upon the ..evidence (OF DECEIT BY SOLOMON), the first form EC 8E issued in error was cancelled and withdrawn and Senator Adolphus Wabara, the PDP candidate, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast in the election, is hereby declared and is returned the winner.”
INEC Abia State resident electoral officer decides to declare the whole election “inconclusive” and fixes a bye-election for two days later - April 16. Governor Orji Kalu cites security concerns, saying that the date is too close to April 19 (the Presidential/Gubernatorial Election date). INEC fixes a new date for April 29.
Dan Imo promptly goes to Electoral Tribunal to challenge the order for new bye-election and wins the challenge – so no new elections. By now, INEC is beginning to fully showing signs of sticking by its first declaration to recognize Dan as the winner.
So Adolphus Wabara files a petition before the Election Tribunal to protest that he is the rightful winner.
Wabara, with an eye on the clock for Senate Inauguration day June 2, fears that he will not get judgement by then in Abia Election Tribunal, so he withdraws his petition. It is dismissed but not struck out as Imo requests. Wabara then heads for Federal High Court, under Justice Wilson Egbo Egbo from Akwa Ibom.
Wabara gets an ex-parte judgement from Egbo Egbo, viz:
“..directing the defendants (INEC) whether
by themselves, their officers, agents, privies and otherwise howsoever, to
release the result of the election into the Abia State South Senatorial seat of
the Senate held on April 12, 2003 pending the hearing and determination of the
of the motion on notice;
it also granted leave to Wabara to serve the motion on notice
together with the originating summons in the matter; and
for such further or other as the court may deem fit to make in the
INEC responds (under protest) by writing that Wabara is declared winner of the April 12 elections.
Another ex parte order from Egbo Egbo and served on INEC at 4:30 pm:
restraining the defendants/respondents, their agents and/or
servants from issuing a certificate of return in respect of the April 12
election in Abia South Senatorial Zone to any other person other than Wabara;
an order compelling the defendants/respondents (INEC) to issue the
plaintiff/applicant (Wabara) a certificate of return in respect to Abia South
Senatorial District based on attached INEC released result in favour of
plaintiff (Wabara) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on
an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from doing anything
that could affect or prejudice the rights and position of the plaintiff as
senator-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria pending the hearing and
determination of the motion on notice.
Attached to the order was Form 48, the Notice of Consequence of Disobedience of court which
orders the commission to obey, or the chairman and the secretary will
be liable to be committed to prison for contempt of court.
So INEC responds (under protest) by issuing Wabara a certificate of return. Pretty threatening, is it not?
Who wan die for jail?
Wabara is installed president of the Senate
June 3 – 14:
Every rational human being, yours truly included, is wondering how Wabara can get out of all this mess, with Imo still breathing fire and brimstone……
At a televised press conference, with many Abia and PDP “heavies” - Maazis, Ogbuefis, Ezes, Obis and Dims in tow - Elder Dan Imo (in a pensive look and heavy voice) withdraws all petitions against Adolphus Wabara – “in the interest of the nation and particularly Abia State”.
Wonderful! Oro pesi je! Another clinic in Nigerian politics!
Igbo kwenu! Abia kwenu! Nigeria kwenu!
II. National Assembly Clerk Disobeys Election
Tribunal over Anambra Legislators
June 4, 2003
TRIBUNAL Stops Swearing in of Anambra Senators
The National Assembly, Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunal for Anambra State yesterday restrained the Clerk of the National Assembly, Ibrahim Salim, from swearing in the elected senators from the state….
The petitioners who secured the interim injunction were Chiefs Nicholas Ukachukwu, Ben Obi and Ben Nwankwo who have made claims that they won the April 12 National Assembly elections in Anambra State.
The chairman of the Election Tribunal, Justice Gam Nabaruna, who made the order on Monday (June 2) ordered that the Clerk should not swear in the elected legislators pending the determination of the petition.
The lawyers who secured the interim order were led by Mr. Clement Akpamgbo (SAN)….
But the set of representatives returned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were sworn in…
So in the case of Imo/Wabara of Abia State, an Election Tribunal is by-passed, and a non-jurisdictional Federal High Court gives an order that is quickly obeyed BY INEC under serious threat of jail to its officials. On the other hand, in the case of Anambra legislators, an Election Tribunal is disobeyed with impunity BY THE NA CLERK.
In both cases, however, the ruling party PDP gets its wishes.
Very instructive indeed.
Shaking his head
And scratching it too.
One “tire” for Nigeria!
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.