THERE is growing apprehension in Anambra State over the fate of the Governor elect Prof. Charles Soludo following the relocation of the venue of Gubernatorial Election Petitions Tribunal from Awka to Ilorin capital of Kwara state.
This is coming twenty four hours after one of the petitioners Senator Andy Uba lost his candidacy of the All Progressives Congress APC in which the Federal High Court Abuja ruled that there was no primary election conducted by the party which produced him as candidate of the party in the last governorship election.
The fears being entertained in Anambra is that this is a grand plot to influence the decisions of the tribunal judges against the victory of Soludo in the said election.
It is being feared that some elements in the APC are working hard to upturn the judgement of the Federal High Court at the Appeal Court to reinstate Uba’s candidacy and ultimately breath down the neck of the tribunal judges to declare Uba winner of the election in far away Kwara State where the electorates would not protest against the feared plot.
But the Media Aide to Senator Uba, Mr. Emeka Onyia dismissed those allegations contending that APGA should not have any reason to be apprehensive if the party is truly sure that it won the election.
Mr. Onyia further said that Senator Andy Uba is being given a bad name by APGA just to cover up their actions during the governorship election.
Speaking with newsmen in Awka the Tribunal Secretary Barrister Surajo Gusua who has already relocated to kwara State said that the directive came from the President of the Appeal Court Hon. Justice Dongban Mensaem who said that the tribunal would now sit in Ilorin Kwara State and no longer Awka Anambra State.
Barrister Gusua further explained that no reason was given for the change of venue adding that should any reason be given he would communicate to the petitioners and respondents as well as the media.
It would be recalled that there had been stories making the rounds that the tribunal would be sitting in Abuja for fear of insecurity but was dismissed by the tribunal Secretary.
Currently the tribunal judges are yet to hold the mandatory pre hearing conference as a prelude to the hearing and the tribunal only made its first and only appearance last two weeks when it struck out the petition filed by the candidate for the Accord party Dr. Godwin Maduka and also granted the application by the duo of Prof. Soludo and Senator Andy Uba for them to inspect materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC during the election.
When contacted the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters, Barrister Ifeatu Obiokoye said that the team of the party’s lawyers have petitioned against the change of venue.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID