A Three-man panel of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, on Saturday ruled out a petition filed to nullify Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s reelection.
Concise News understands that the chairman of the panel, Justice A.L. Ogumoye, threw out the petition while ruling on a motion filed by Governor Ikpeazu as the fourth respondent, through his legal counsel.
Justice Ogumoye held that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned their petition, having failed to activate the pre-trial hearing process within the time stipulated by the Electoral Act.
The panel had earlier dismissed two applications filed by INEC and PDP on the grounds that the seal of the legal practitioner, who deposed to the documents, were not attached, thereby rendering the documents inefficient.
Counsel to governor Ikpeazu, Uche Ihediwa, and that of the PDP, James Igwe (SAN), applauded the ruling of the tribunal while, on the other hand, counsel to Ogah and the APC, Godwin Chionye, disclosed that the position of the tribunal was based on law and will therefore not shift blame.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has set 19th of June 2019 to commence the trial of the petition between Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against Ikpeazu, having concluded pre-hearing of the matter last Friday.