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Why Im in court to seek tenure completion Obi

Posted by By RAZAQ BAMIDELE on 2007/02/20 | Views: 620 |

Why Im in court to seek tenure completion Obi


Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, says he went to court to seek the completion of his four years tenure to fulfill "what is enshrined in the constitution."

Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, says he went to court to seek the completion of his four years tenure to fulfill "what is enshrined in the constitution."

Fielding questions from a team of management staff of The Sun Publishing Company in Lagos, during a courtesy visit on Monday, Obi said he wanted the court to interpret Section 180 of the 1999 constitution as it affected his case, stressing, "the constitution should be respected as it is respected everywhere in the world."

He added: "The court issue is issue of tenure. Actually, the press and Nigerians should be the ones campaigning about it and not me because that is what is enshrined in our constitution and we have to respect it."

The governor reminded his hosts that "the tenure of a governor starts when he or she is sworn-in," asserting that the language of the law book was straightforward and simple.
"The tenure of the governor starts when he or she is sworn-in. It is very straightforward and it is respected all over the world. If we follow our constitution, we dont need to hold our elections the same day. It is not in our constitution that we have to hold our election the same day," he said.

Obi contended that when elections are held on different dates, tension experienced during elections would be reduced, adding that people would have the opportunity to campaign with good conscience.
He wondered why he should be denied his right of four-year tenure when those who have almost completed their two terms of eight years were illegally asking for additional tenure, saying he was not asking for anything strange or contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

Governor Obi, through his lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), has filed a case before a Federal High Court in Enugu praying the court to allow him spend the statutory four years, which the constitution allows governors.

He wants the court to interpret Section 180 of the 1999 constitution, which deals with the tenure of governors.
Section 180 sub-section 2 of the constitution states: "Governor shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date when he takes the oath of allegiance and oath of office."

Consequently, the governor wants the court to pronounce that his four-year-tenure started from April 2006 when he was sworn in after he the Court of Appeal pronounced that the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, was an illegal occupant of the Anambra State Government House.

On the crisis in the state, Obi said he has forgiven everybody who wronged him, saying: "As a Christian, I bear no grudge and that is what the scripture teaches."
He said that there was no victor or vanquished, just as he emphasized that Mrs. Virgy Etiaba remains his deputy.
"Since the court has declared the impeachment a nullity, it means we should go back to where we were," he added.

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