A federal high court in Awka, Anambra state capital, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute Ifeanyi Ubah, senator-elect of Anambra-south and M.N Umenweke, the returning officer, over criminal allegations levelled against them in the February 23 election.
The order came following an application sought from the court by Chris Uba, senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the district.
Uba had, among others, asked for “A further order of mandamus compelling the 1st Respondent to prosecute the second ( Prof MN Umenweke) for announcing or publishing a false result to the effect that the 3rd Respondent had won the election held on the said 23/2/2019 even when they both knew that the said election was inconclusive and from which no genuine result had thereby been generated.”
In the order, I.B Gafai, the judge, asked the INEC to conduct investigation into the matter within 14 days for the purpose of prosecuting the respondents.
“Upon the honourable court having delivered a considered judgement today, it hereby ordered as follows: The 1st Respondent (INEC) shall within 14 days from today conduct or cause investigation into the criminal allegations of the Applicant (Chris Uba),” the judgement read in part.
“Prosecute, if the investigation result so warrants, the third Respondent ( Ifeanyi Uba) 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.”
Ubah won the senatorial election under the platform of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday.