An Awka High Court presided over by Anambra State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Peter Umeadi, has ordered the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) to conduct local government elections in the state within 90 days.
Justice Umeadi made the order on Thursday in his judgment on a suit brought by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its 21 chairmanship candidates, challenging the constitution of caretaker committees to run the affairs of the 21 local government areas in the state.
In the suit titled: A/182/2016: APC &others vs. ANSIEC and others, APC and its 21 LG chairmanship candidates, representing all the councils asked the court to declare that the constitution of caretaker committee is illegal.
The respondents in the suit were ANSIEC, its chairman, the Attorney General of Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano, the Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Anambra State House of Assembly and the Speaker.
During the proceedings on the suit which lasted for one year, ANSIEC maintained that it acceded to the constitution of caretaker committees because only the APC filed candidates for the election.
On its own part, APC through its lawyer, George Ogara,contended that if the caretaker committee is declared illegal, its candidates should be deemed winners of the election.
In his judgment, Hon. Justice Umeadi declared that the caretaker committee is illegal and ordered ANSIEC to conduct election within 90 days.
“I have declared that the caretaker committee is illegal. Since the process has started. You have done nomination and the process is closed, those nominated should go to election within 90 days” Umeadi said.
Reacting to the judgment, Chief Uche Anthony Anakor (Omambala Nimo), the deponent on the suit and Anambra State Coordinator APC South-East 2015 State House of Assembly candidates, said they were so happy about the judgment, adding that it will entrench democracy at the grassroots.
“We are happy. It is a constitutional matter. The time for election has elapsed. ANSIEC did not do it. The election will be for APC alone. No other party filed candidates before the time elapsed. We have been pursuing this matter in court for about one year now and now victory has come our way” Anakor said.
When our reporter contacted Oliver Okpala, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Willie Obiano on phone, he said the judgment has not been brought to his knowledge.