The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu on Wednesday ordered the retrial of the petition of Professor Dora Akunyili challenging the election of Dr. Chris Ngige as the Senator representing the Anambra Central District.
Akunyili who contested on the platform of the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had approached the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State and challenged the victory of Chris Nwabueze Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria. The Tribunal however struck out her petition on the 20th October, 2011 over her failure to file some documents.
In his submission, Mr Emeka Ngige (SAN), counsel to Dr. Ngige, urged the court to strike out the appeal on the grounds that the period for such electoral matter had elapsed, in line with the Electoral Act. The Counsel to INEC too made a similar submission. Counsel to Akunyili, Mr Obiora Obianwu (SAN), however described it as a misconception. He said the other counsel were misinterpreting the Supreme Court judgement, adding that “time does not run when a petition goes on appeal. Once a petition is struck out, it ceases to exist until it is revived by the Court of Appeal. What is left is for the court to determine who is right or wrong.”
The Appeal Court has therefore ordered a retrial of the petition.