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Cablegate: Southern Nigeria Election Tribunals Rule On Challenges

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RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0729/01 3111519
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071519Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9572
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9329
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000729

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR INR/AA
DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM NI
SUBJECT: Southern Nigeria Election Tribunals Rule On Challenges

1. (U) Summary: Election tribunals in Nigeria's southern states
continued to hand down rulings, some of which may be appealed.
Bayelsa and Ogun State tribunals ruled against Action Congress (AC)
and All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP) challengers in governorship
elections. House races were overturned in Oyo State. While the
tribunal in Ekiti warned election officials that they would be
arrested if they failed to comply with subpoenas, the Edo State
Election Commissioner continued to ignore subpoenas with impunity.
End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Bayelsa: Tribunal Upholds Governor Sylvia's Victory
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. (U) On November 5, Bayelsa State Election Tribunal dismissed AC
Governorship Candidate Ebitimi Amgbare's petition. The tribunal
ruled that Ebitimi failed to prove that the April 14 election was
marred by irregularities. The tribunal also faulted Amgbare's claim
that the governorship election really never took place in Bayelsa
State. Accordingly, the tribunal upheld the election of Chief
Timipre Sylva as governor.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Ogun: ANPP Candidate Failed to Confirm Affiliation
--------------------------------------------- ------

3. (U) On October 19, the Ogun State Election Tribunal dismissed the
challenge to Governor Daniels' election filed by ANPP candidate
Senator Ibikunle Amosun. The tribunal ruled that Amosun failed to
establish under which political party he ran for governorship. The
tribunal also dismissed two other petitions by ANPP candidates
challenging the election of Ogun State House of Assembly members. As
in Amosun's case, the tribunal said the ANPP challengers failed to
establish to which political party they belong. Senator Amosun has
alleged the tribunal members accepted bribes from Governor Daniels,
but ANPP has not yet filed a legal action against the tribunal. The
tribunal has not yet ruled on the petitions brought by Action
Congress (AC) Governorship candidate Dipo Dina and by Democratic
Peoples Alliance (DPA) candidate Gbenga Kaka.

------------------------------------------
Oyo: Five State House Elections Overturned
------------------------------------------

4. (U) The Oyo State Election Tribunal has ruled on five petitions
involving the April 14 State House of Assembly election. The
tribunal resolved three petitions against sitting House members and
ordered that their opponents be installed. In two additional cases,
the tribunal ordered fresh elections. The tribunal has yet to rule
on three petitions challenging the election of the sitting governor.
On October 26, ANPP Governorship candidate Abiola Ajimobi and AC
candidate Taoheed Adedoja told Poloff that they believe the tribunal
is proceeding fairly. Ajimobi predicted the tribunal will rule on
the petitions before January 2008.

------------------------------------------
Ekiti: Police Aided Ballot-Snatching Thugs
------------------------------------------

5. (U) The Ekiti State Election Tribunal threatened to arrest three
officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if
they continue to ignore the tribunal's subpoena. The tribunal issued
this warning following testimony from AC gubernatorial candidate
Kayode Fayemi alleging INEC was frustrating his attempt to inspect
election materials by failing to appear and to bring the relevant
documents. On October 29, two key witnesses for Fayemi told the
tribunal that the police aided thugs who snatched ballot boxes
during the governorship election. They alleged that the thugs
prevented voters from voting and forcefully took away ballot papers
and other election materials. On October 31, the tribunal dismissed
a People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate's petition against the
election of AC's Edward Ashaolu to the State House of Assembly. The
tribunal also dismissed a petition filed by Adebayo Ayeni, United
Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP) governorship candidate.

------------------------------------------
Edo: Election Commissioner Defies Subpoena
------------------------------------------

6. (U) On October 30, the Edo State Election Tribunal again
subpoenaed the Resident Electoral Commissioner, who failed to appear
in response to a subpoena issued on September 28, to appear before
the tribunal and bring with him election materials and documents.
Following the failure to appear, AC candidate Adams Oshiomhole
publicly predicted that he would emerge from the tribunal the

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winner. Sitting Governor Osunbor fired back, accusing Oshiomhole of
attempting to intimidate the tribunal.

HUTCHINSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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