False Alarm Caused Anambra Stampede Not Party Members — Attah

False alarm and lack of proper crowd control mechanism have been identified as the major causes of the stampede that occurred at the Uke Adoration Prayer Ground, contradicting claims linking the supporters of the Governorship candidate of the All progressives Congress to the incident.

The Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State, Mr. Aloysius Attah, who was at the ground on the day of the incident, told Channels Television that false alarm triggered the stampede.

Mr. Aloysius pointed out that the recorded deaths occurred as a result of poor crowd control mechanism.

He explained that people were selling items by the side of the narrow road where a large number of people trooping to the prayer ground were also passing.

“People were selling sacramental items, food stuffs, snacks and all manner of things by the road side. There were motorcycles packed by the same roadside and some makeshift kiosks. There was a woman frying Akara (beans-cake) and these things are what could easily cause stampede,” he explained.

Contrary to police report that there were other exit routes to the ground, Mr. Aloysius said that there was only a major entrance and exit route to the place.

“Many people do not know other exit routes that are available,” he said.

The programme, which was supposed to be a prayer meeting for Christian faithful, was turned to a political campaign ground as several parties present at the ground came with one item or the other to identify with their political party.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had blamed the supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate for the stampede, claiming that they were at the prayer ground with posters of the governorship candidate of the Party, Dr. Chris Ngige.

As a result of this claim, the party sought the arrest of Ngige.

The APC has also insisted that the APGA members at the ground came in their party regalia, an act they claim was a form of campaign.

Mr. Aloysius confirmed the claims by both parties as true. He also confirmed that there was an alarm of fire at the prayer ground, but said that there was actually no fire.

On Channels Television Programme, Sunrise, the party members, Commissioner for Information, Anambra State, Joe Martins,  a member of the APGA and Mr Joe Igbokwe of the APC, accused each other’s political party for the stampede that left at least 27 people dead.

Anambra Stampede: Gov. Obi Accuses Ngige’s Supporters

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. The Governor of Anambra State , Peter Obi, has refuted claims from some quarters that he was responsible for the stampede in Uke, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state.

The stampede which left about 25 people dead happened in the early hours of Saturday, November 2.

In a state broadcast, the governor said that his visit to the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry crusade on Friday was on the invitation of the serving priest of the ministry, Reverend-Father Obimma.

He pointed out that he left the crusade ground at 3:00am, local time, whereas the incident took place at 5:00am. He went further to blame the supporters of the All Progressives Congress Governorship Candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship elections for the unfortunate incident.

“When I was called upon by the presiding priest after the Holy Mass to speak at about 12.15am, a group of people located in 3 different spots started shouting the name of a gubernatorial candidate, Dr Chris Ngige and waving the brooms of All Progressives Congress and pictures of the same candidate in the November 16 election.”

“It took up to 20 minutes for the presiding priest to calm them down. I was surprised that some people would turn a prayer ground into a campaign venue.”

While sympathising with the victims’ families, the Governor said that investigation into the incident had commenced.

Governor Obi was at the scene of the incident and also visited the hospital where those injured were taken to for treatment.

APC, Labour Party Anambra Governorship Candidates Reveal Manifesto

As the race for the Anambra State House gathers momentum, two governorship candidates have been speaking on their plans to lift the state out of the doldrums.

A former governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Chris Ngige says he desires to return to the seat of power to finish his unfinished business while Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party believes Anambra needs a business strategist who will help turn the state’s economy around  

Uduaghan Honours Fellow Doctors with Kukere Dance

The banquet organised by the Delta State Government for medicals doctors at the just concluded doctors summit in Delta State sure had so much to give as the state Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan revealed that he isn’t just about the running of the oil rich state but can also be a great dancer.

The trained medical doctor was joined by another of his professional peer turned politician, Dr. Chris Ngige, as they both dazzled fellow doctors with swift dance steps with Iyanya’s hit track Kukere.

Metrofile brings you the full details.

Southeast leaders meet on national security

Political leaders of the southeast region on Sunday, converged at Enugu government house, Enugu state, to brainstorm over issues that collectively affect the zone.

Briefing journalists after the over three hours closed door meeting, the Anambra state governor and chairman South-East governors forum, Mr Peter Obi, disclosed that constitution amendment, security and other issues of common interest were top on agenda of discussion.

The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial zone, Dr Chris Ngige and the presidential adviser on inter party affairs, Senator Ben Obi, also revealed that state creation was also part of the issue discussed in regards of the ongoing constitution amendment by the national assembly.

Senator Ben Obi noted that the contributions of the southeast governors in remaining focused in promoting the unity and welfare of the zone is highly commendable.

The meeting had in attendance governors of the southeast region, members of national and state assemblies, traditional rulers among others.

Court of Appeal strikes out Akunyili’s petition against Ngige

The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu has struck out the appeal filed by Professor Dora Akunyili of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) against the decision of the election petition tribunal in Awka which threw out her petition, challenging the election of Dr. Chris Ngige, as a Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone.

The three-man panel of the Appellate court, headed by Justice Ayobode Lokulo-Sodipe held that the appellants were in serious misapprehension of the finality of the Supreme Court decisions, maintaining that once the Supreme Court gives verdict, every decision of the subordinate court gives way.

The court held that the tribunal was right in striking out Professor Akunyili’s petition stating that no court can bring to life a petition that is dead.

The tribunal had earlier struck out Dora Akunyili’s petition on the grounds that the 180 days stipulated by the constitution for the trial and delivery of judgement on election petition has expired and this was affirmed by another Supreme Court ruling.

On February 17, 2012, the Supreme Court had ruled in the Borno governorship appeal (Shettima Vs Goni) that the Court of Appeal had no power to remit any case that had lasted beyond the period of 180 days stipulated in the Constitution for either hearing on merits or for de novo trial.

Section 285 (6) of the amended 1999 constitution holds that any case that had exceeded the period of 180 days ought to be struck for lack of jurisdiction.

The Apex court further described the 180 day stipulation for deciding all electoral cases as a Rock of Gibraltar or Mount Zion and ruled that the period could not be moved, extended or elongated by even a second.

Professor Akunyili’s petition was filed on May 17, 2011, six months after the 180th day as stipulated by the Constitution and affirmed by the Apex Court.

In her argument, Prof Akunyili, contended that her case is not affected by the Supreme Court decision, which came about after her petition was extended for a fresh 180 days in November 2011.

The former Minister of Information is challenging the victory of Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), in the Anambra central Senatorial election in April 2011 elections. She asked the Appeal Court to remit her petition back to the tribunal to continue from where it stopped.