Lack of electricity at the Anambra State Judiciary Complex has forced the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in the state to embark on a long adjournment.
Panel 1 of the tribunal, which is chaired by Hon Justice L. O. Ogundana, while adjourning, was said to have turned down the offer by a lawyer to a defendant, to make available a large quantity of diesel to power the generating set in the judiciary complex.
The long adjournment was because of lack of electricity in the courtroom to play a video recording introduced by the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ogundana was presiding over a petition ref EPT/AN/SEN/05/2023, which was brought before the three-man panel by the Anambra Central Senatorial candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Hon Dozie Nwankwo, against Chief Victor Umeh, the Labour Party candidate in the 2023 election.
Chief Alex Ejesieme (SAN), counsel to INEC had earlier offered to donate a large quantity of diesel for the court complex generating set, but the panel’s Chairman, Justice Ogundana politely declined, saying he didn’t want petitions flying around against the panel over such a gesture.
Ogundana, who later adjourned to Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9, 2023, lamented the uncomfortable nature of the courtroom, saying the panel hopes that by the next adjourned date, electricity supply would have been restored in the complex.
He said the condition of the courtroom was totally at variance with the atmosphere he experienced in Edo State, where he said there was 24 hours electricity supply with all the air conditioners in proper condition.
However, Ejesieme (SAN) assured that he would take the matter to the Anambra State Chief Judge immediately after the session.
Umeh, the winner of the February 25 national assembly election in the Anambra Central senatorial zone, is being challenged by Nwankwo of APGA and Princess Helen Mbakwe, a legal practitioner and candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).