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Why Iím a master in litigation ĖObi

Posted by By GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka on 2007/12/29 | Views: 673 |

Why Iím a master in litigation ĖObi


When, in the course of his legal battle to get the Supreme Court determine his tenure as Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi described himself as a master in litigation, what many made of his statement was that it probably stemmed from his earlier victories at the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

When, in the course of his legal battle to get the Supreme Court determine his tenure as Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi described himself as a master in litigation, what many made of his statement was that it probably stemmed from his earlier victories at the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

But the governor, in a recent chat with Daily Sun, explained that it was more than that.

As a matter of fact, he had so far taken 17 cases to courts across the world and won each of them.
He said that his penchant for going to court was informed by his conviction in the integrity and fairness of the judiciary as the last hope of the wronged.

He said: "Iíve said that if I have only one vote, it will go for the judiciary. I was discussing with some group of people and somebody mentioned impeachment and I said yes, you can trust that Iíll return to the court. Donít think my coming here was my first time of approaching the court. I have actually taken 17 cases to courts all over the world and I won 17 of them."

The governor said he had taken the Federal Government to court three times.
He said: "First was when they banned used cars. You can agree with me that I donít have any thing to do with used cars, but I didnít see any reason why they should ban used cars. The people are buying used cars because that is what they can afford. Nobody buys old things if he can afford new one. I took them to court because I knew the standard allowed anywhere in the world, for you to ban such things and that was why they reversed the policy."

Obi said he also took the government to court over the identity (ID) card scheme, saying: "I was the chairman of the company that won the contract and within one week of the award of the contract, they changed. I said no, I went to court internationally and government was asked to pay us N1.2 billion which they paid."


He added that he went to court recently on the issue of deductions of Anambra State funds and the benefit from that was that the state was being refunded about N4 billion from the deductions they did.
"The court is the only place you can go and say I disagree," Obi said.

He said: "The PHCN came here and said we were owing and I said to them, I am a banker, bring your books, letís see if we were owing. They said no, I said okay, I will force you to bring the paper, Iíve got the papers. Iíve seen the volume and I will soon be taking them to court. They sold assets of Anambra State under privatization; they privatized NEPA for billions of naira forgetting that Anambra State paid for a lot of the transformers.

"By my calculations, we have nearly N8 billon worth of transformers we paid for. It is either they convert it to shares for Anambra State, give me back the money or end up in court. Because you canít sell our assets without us knowing. In a country like ours, where people have chosen to do the wrong thing, while calling it a federation, the only way to make it work is to show evidence that this is not right.
"Just two days ago, we had a deduction in this state where people were deducting our money and said they are doing primary healthcare.

They have not started any single project in this state but they have taken over N500 million unconstitutionally. Again, like I said, I wrote the minister few days ago and said you either give me the money or we end up in court. Of course, he called me and said he will refund it.
"This is to show you what the law is doing not to the common man but to a state like ours which is a common man in Nigeria.

"I nominated two persons, as expected for national award. When the list came out, their names werenít there. Again, I wrote the President and said this is not the list of my nominees, Iím a governor of this state and the secretary said they put my list against other stakeholders in the state. I said my list against other stakeholders? No way.

"Again, they know where I would have ended but they had to change it. So a state like Anambra is a common man in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the judiciary is the hope we have."

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