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Cablegate: Nigeria: Court Nullified Senatorial Election in Anambra

VZCZCXRO5931
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0516 3641140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291140Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0390
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0031
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LAGOS 000516

Sensitive But Unclassified
SIPDIS

TREASURY FOR DPETERS, RHALL, RABDULRAZAK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: COURT NULLIFIED SENATORIAL ELECTION IN ANAMBRA
STATE

Sensitive But Unclassified; Handle Accordingly

1. (U) Summary: A Federal Appeals Court has confirmed that no
election was held in the Anambra South Senatorial District on April
21, 2007. The Court ordered the election rerun within 90 days. The
decision is significant for its straightforward finding that no
election was held. End Summary.

2. (U) On December 19, a Federal Appeals Court nullified the
election of Senator Ikechukwu Obiora representing the Anambra South
Senatorial District. The court held that no election had taken place
in that senatorial district on April 21, 2007. The court overturned
the electoral tribunal decision upholding Obiora's election, and
ordered fresh elections to be held within three months.

3. (U) All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA) party senatorial candidate
Azuka Okwuosa who brought the appeal, argued to the court that the
election tribunal erred when it dismissed his petition on the basis
of evidence provided by Independent National Election Commission
(INEC) that the election had taken place. Okwuosa claimed that the
lower court decision flew in the face of the evidence, including the
text of a press conference held April 24 in which the INEC
Commissioner for Anambra State announced that because election
materials had arrived late and other irregularities had occurred,
INEC had nullified the April 21 senatorial election and directed
that a fresh election be held on April 28, 2007. Okwuosa said that
INEC's subsequent declaration of Obiora's victory on April 26, and
its failure to conduct another election on April 28, was contrary to
law.

4. (SBU) Comment: This appeal decision is significant for the
court's straightforward holding that no election had occurred,
confirming what Mission Election Monitors observed throughout
Anambra and the Southeast. End Comment

Hudson

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