Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
‘Dead’ man resurfaces at election tribunal, gives evidence

By Osteen Oyibode, Asaba on 13/08/2015

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 3,488


Proceedings at the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, took a dramatic dimension, Wednesday, when a middle aged man who was declared dead made a surprise appearance.

Hon. Christopher Anirah, was summoned by the tribunal to give evidence in court, in the on-going trial in an election petition between Hon. Gibson Ighofose Akporehe, of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Hon. Evelyn Omavowan Oboro, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Akporehe, a candidate in the just concluded House of Representatives election for Okpe, Sapale and Uvwie Federal Constituency, through his counsel, Mr. Charles Umweni, had told the tribunal that the witness he intends to call, (Anirah) cannot come to the tribunal to testify because he was  dead.

He told the tribunal that Anirah died of cardiac attack, and cannot be subpoenaed to give evidence in the on-going case.

But, at the resumed hearing of the matter, somebody who claimed to be Anirah stormed the tribunal and stepped into the witness box to give evidence when the chairman of the three-man tribunal panel, Justice Adebukole Banjoko called out the name.

The move temporally created commotion in the tribunal  as  the bewildered audience started shuffling  and murmuring in low tones following the sudden appearance of a ‘dead man’ in court, prompting  Justice Banjoko to call for calm.

Akporehe of APC is challenging the election victory of Oboro. Joined in the suit are; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commission (REC), PDP and eight others.  Christopher Anirah is Oboro’s star witness in the matter. Anirah, during  examination, by respondents counsel, Mr. Onome Egbon, told the tribunal that  he  was the rightful candidate  of APC  for the Okpe, Sapale and Uvwie Federal Constituency of Delta State in the 2015 national assembly election until his  name was fraudulently substituted  with  that of  Akporehe’s name on account that he (Anirah) was dead.

He told the tribunal that Akporehe allegedly, “forged a death certificate from a General Hospital that I died of cardiac failure and hypertension,” with which he deceived INEC to remove his name from the list of contestants for the election.

He also told the tribunal that somebody who posed as his family member was made to testify that the death rumor was true to convince INEC to carry out their evil plan of substituting his name.

Anirah further stated that he has received several death threats through phone calls warning him not to come near the tribunal premises to testify in the on-going matter between Oboro and Akporehe as doing so will be at the risk of his life, adding that the threat has since been reported to the security agents

According to him, “The notice was supported with a forged death certificate signed by a non-existent Dr Jude Omoefe from a non-existent Government Hospital Okpe, Orerokpe. It says Christopher Anirah died of cardiac failure and hypertension. Also backing the notice is an affidavit of death dated Jan. 15, 2015 and deposed to by Okonji at the Ughoton Customary Court, Ughoton, Delta State.  

An emotional Anirah took the tribunal through the sequence of events beginning from when he won the primaries to the morning of March 28 when he was finally told that he had been substituted. In between, he got wind of the “evil and desperate plot to rob me of my mandate,” but all his efforts to protect it ended in futility.

He narrated to the court that, “after the primaries, I travelled briefly out of the country. When I returned on Jan. 23, I heard that one Cyril Ogodo, the deputy state chairman of my party, had sold my mandate to one Gibson Akporehe. The party claimed not to know about it.

“When I formally reported the matter to the party, the state chairman, Erhue, and the gubernatorial candidate, Emerhor, instructed the deputy state chairman, Ogodo, to go back and restore my name, which he did after collecting some amounts of money from me.

“Surprisingly, after my name had entered the final list of INEC, I got wind of their plan to substitute me on the ground that I was dead. I now wrote to APC and INEC (he also tendered copies of the letter). I went there myself to submit the letters in which I informed them that some people were faking my death in order to substitute me. That was on Jan. 24.

"Before then, during our campaign at Orerokpe, the APC governorship candidate told the people at the rally that in a few days’ time they would know who would be the House of Representatives candidate and a commissioner between me and Akpore. After the rally I met him and asked why he made such statement knowing I was the candidate. He just smiled and didn’t say anything.

“Five days later, I got a call from INEC in Abuja that if I was alive I should come to their office at 7 a.m. the next day. The call came at about 9 p.m. That same night, I left Sapele at 11 p.m., drove overnight to INEC in Abuja where I met Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, the head of legal unit of the commission.

“They interviewed me during which I gave them evidence that I was alive. They then assured me that I could not be substituted because I was alive. They said that they were not happy over the issue, asking why the APC of all party did such a thing. They said I should meet the APC national chairman who signed the letter of substitution to revoke it.”

Acting on the INEC advice, Anirah said that he went to Odigie-Oyegun, who he said apologised and promised to call a meeting to discuss the matter in order to have the substitution letter revoked. As it turned out, that was never to be.

He continued: “What I saw was that on March 27, a day to my election, Oyegun, Cyril and Otega conspired and went back to submit the same letter to INEC that I was dead and then submitted the same forged death certificate.

“On the strength of that, INEC headquarters then wrote (he also attached a certified true copy of the letter) to its office in Asaba, Delta State, that I was dead and should be substituted I was informed at 8 a.m. on the day of the election that I had been replaced.”

The complainant added that since then he had been making efforts to have the alleged culprits arrested all to no avail.

“I want Nigerians to help me fight this injustice, because if they let these people succeed it could be another person tomorrow. It is unfair and inhuman for a man that is alive to be technically erased from the surface of this earth.

“My mother, children and friends are yet to get over the shock they experienced when they got the news that I was dead.”

Meanwhile, Oboro in her preliminary objection filed from Peter Mrakpor’s chambers, is asking the tribunal to dismiss Akporehe’s petition for lack of merit, saying it is an abuse of court process.

Source News Express

Posted 13/08/2015 04:38:26 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Buhari commends Shell, assures on payment of debts...

Senate constitutes committee to examine 2013 NEITI audit...

Enyiazu unfolds agenda for Ibeku

Ezuruonye, Majid, Van Vicker, Arinze, battle for the...

UNICEF celebrates return of abducted Dapchi girls

Soyinka breaks silence, says BIAFRA (Igbos) SUFFERED GENOCIDE...

Osun doctors protest over arrears of salaries, poor...

Why FRSC, others have not received November Pay:...

Why we didn't issue Obasanjo membership card —APC...

GTBank, Fidelity, UBA, FBN Capital nominated for 2015...

Pipeline explosion rocks Ogun community

Group wants live broadcast of court proceedings to...

 

Latest News 2019: Atiku, Tambuwal, Saraki, Jang, others cross first hurdle Ohanaeze sabotaging Igbo interests — IPOB •Attacks Uwazuruike and South-East Governors Lagos APC: Controversy trails Sanwo-Olu’s alleged withdrawal Journalist sentenced to 5,000 years in prison laments ordeal 2019 Presidency: PDP may drop aspirants with graft cases FIRS to block bank accounts of 6772 corporate tax defaulters APC mulls automatic tickets for National Assembly members We’re still being kidnapped, Igbo traders in Cross River cry out FG recalls Paris Club refund for 5 states •The affected states Osun Guber Poll: Declare PDP winner to avert national crisis, Secondus tells INEC •Cries blue murder Salary Arrears: Bayelsa Government assures workers of full payment Akwa Ibom royal fathers reiterate support for Governor Emmanuel

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (397,064 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (377,034 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (308,894 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (250,848 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (232,551 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (221,773 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (200,297 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (181,819 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (165,960 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (163,503 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (158,323 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (147,017 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (63) Business & Economy (3,628) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (933) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (547) Features (653) Global Business Monitor (301) International (2,434) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (144) News (39,129) Opinion (1,111) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,747) Religion (873) Sports (1,706) Stock Watch (34) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Highlights

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement