The Anambra State Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Awka, has warned that it would resist any attempt by either petitioners or respondents to influence it in the discharge of its duties.
Its Chairman, Justice J.N. Ananabo, said, at its inaugural sitting, on Wednesday, that the panel would do justice to all cases brought before it, adding that it was only the quality of evidence made available by both parties that would determine their fate.
Ananabo further urged counsels representing the petitioners and respondents to ensure that justice and its processes were not compromised.
Other members of the panel are Justice I.B. Garba and Justice N.K. Hamidu.
Daily Times observed that four petitions had been filed for the Senatorial Election, 12 on House of Representatives Election and 14 already on the State Assembly Elections.
According to Ananabo: “Election matters are very serious matters that cannot be treated with levity and I wish to state that any attempt to try to sway us in one way or the other will not work.
“It is the quality of the evidence before the court and what the constitution says that would determine who is the winner or loser. We shall discharge our duties, in keeping with the constitution and the law. The tribunal is set up to ensure that those who actually won the election are those that the people elected to represent them.”
Speaking on behalf of Anambra Forum of Chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Awka branch chairman, Uba Anene, noted that the Bar would co-operate with the tribunal to ensure that matters were discharged effectively.
The most senior advocate of Nigeria present on the occasion and former Commissioner for Justice in the state, Udechukwu Nnoruka Udechukwu, said: “If you go by the antecedence of Anambra tribunal, you will have every reason to be worried due to the gray areas that often come up in the legal process, but we assure you that we shall continue to improve in our civility. We assure you that when you leave here you will leave with your reputation intact.”