The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra South senatorial district in the February 23 National Assembly elections, Mr. Christian Uba has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant his lawyer, Charles Oguejiofor, the authority to prosecute businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah and others in relation to their alleged complicity in the commission of electoral offences during the election.
Ubah contested the election on the platform of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), and was declared winner by the INEC.
Christian Uba’s request is contained in a March 28, 2019 letter, written to the INEC chairman through his lawyers.
He said the request was informed by an earlier order made by a Federal High Court in Awka, in a suit he filed, marked: FHC/AWK/CS/29/2019, directing INEC to either prosecute Ifeanyi Ubah by itself or appoint the applicant’s lawyers for that purpose.
After the election, Christian Uba applied to the Federal High Court in Awka, for, among others, an order of mandamus, compelling INEC to prosecute its (INEC’s) Returning Officer for the election, Prof M. N. Umenweke and Ifeanyi Ubah, listed as second and third respondents, for allegedly committing electoral offences during the election.
In a judgment on March 27, 2019, Justice I.B Gafai ordered INEC to, within 14 days, conduct investigation into the criminal allegations raised by Christian Uba in his application.
Justice Gafai, in an enrolled order said: “Upon the honourable court having delivered a considered judgement today (March 27, 2019), it is hereby ordered as follows:
“The first respondent (INEC) shall, within 14 days from today, conduct or cause investigation into the criminal allegations of the applicant (Christian Uba).
“Prosecute, if the investigation result so warrants, the third respondent ( Ifeanyi Ubah) and any other person(s) implicated in its investigation.
“Where it considers it inexpedient to prosecute through its legal officers, consider at its liberty, the appointment of the applicant’s solicitors in this suit, for the purpose of such prosecution.”
In his March 28, 2019 letter, Christian Uba said his lawyers already possessed enough facts with which to commence the prosecution and secure the conviction of all persons implicated in the alleged offences.
Christian Uba added: “It is not in doubt that the reason the unscrupulous persons still engage in these electoral offences is that they are hardly prosecuted in court for their heinous acts, so, nobody is deterred from engaging in such acts brazenly and with impunity on each succeeding election.
“We are ready, upon invitation, to meet you or any of your officials, to brief you on the extensive investigation we have carried out so far in the matter; the facts we have unearthed so far to convince you that as we did say above, we shall secure conviction of every person incriminated in any of the criminal allegations against the 2nd and 3rd respondents or any other person incriminated in any electoral offences.”