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Falana Petitions NJC Over Judge Kafarati's Controversial Handling Of Senator Alphonsus Igbeke’s Election

The Senator Elect of the Anambra North Senatorial District, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to sanction the Honourable Justice Abdu-Kafarati.

The Senator Elect of the Anambra North Senatorial District, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to sanction the Honourable Justice Abdu-Kafarati.

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 In a petition dated May 11, 2011, filed on his behalf by Femi Falana, Prince Emeka alleged that although he did win the election of April 9 and and was so declared by the Returning Officer, Justice Abdu-Kafarati

•    caused the certificate of return to be handed over to Igbeke who never contested the election;

•    conferred immunity on Igbeke by issuing an ex parte order restraining the Police from investigating the allegation of forgery leveled against Igbeke; and

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•    Turned his court into an election petition tribunal contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010.

According to the petition, the matter began on March 17, 2011 when Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati, ignoring a grave allegation that the results of the primary election the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Anambra North Senatorial District in the District was forged by Igbeke, went ahead to declare him the winner of the election.

That decision was challenged at the Court of Appeal by Prince Emeka, who had won the primary election and the police began an investigation of the forgery allegation against Senator Igbeke.

Curiously, the ensuing fresh suit filed at the Federal High Court in which Senator Igbeke sought a restraining order against the Police from arresting and prosecuting him for forgery of electoral materials was again assigned to Justice Abdu-Kafarati.  The judge took it upon himself to confer immunity on Igbeke by forbidden the Police from investigating the allegation.

On the 5th of May, following the legislative elections in which Prince Emeka was elected into the National Assembly Igbeke filed a fresh suit at the Federal High Court, and without joining Senator Elect Prince Emeka.

For some reason, that case once again assigned to Justice Abdu-Kafarati and he issued an ex parte order in which he directed the Independent National Electoral Commission not to issue a certificate of return in respect of the Anambra North Senatorial District Election “to any  person other than” Igbeke, thereby assuming the powers of an election tribunal.

In a press statement this evening, Festus Keyamo, acting as Igbeke’s lawyer, asserted that the Police has been “discreetly mounting a surveillance” to arrest Igbeke, and warned that such actions were “in complete violation of the Rule of Law, an existing court order and the fundamental rights of Senator Alphonsus Igbeke.”

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