Reps’ election : Apugo, APC close case at tribunal
* Hopeful of justice
By Leonard Egwuma
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its House of Representatives candidate for Ikwuano – Umuahia federal constituency, Mr Martins Apugo on Wednesday closed their case at the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Abia.
The petitioners decided to close their case after calling 30 witnesses.
Wawa News Global reports that the petitioners are challenging the outcome of the Feb. 23 election in Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency.
Apugo is asking the tribunal to declare him winner or declare the election inconclusive.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr Sam Onuigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the election.
Onuigbo is the first respondent, while PDP and INEC are the second and third respondents respectively.
The petitioners decided to close their case after their star witness, Mr Martins Apugo and four others had testified.
Announcing the closure on Wednesday, the petitioners’ counsels expressed satisfaction with the three-man panel for the opportunity to present their petitions.
Counsels to the petitioners Mr Perfect Okorie for APC and Mr Oliver Amuzie for Apugo, told the Justice Cornelius Akintayo-led tribunal that they were satisfied with their witnesses.
However, Mr A. C Okoroafor, counsel to the first respondent announced to the panel that the respondents would like to open their defence.
Okaroafor told the tribunal that the first respondent would bring 29 witnesses, while the second and third respondents would produce three witnesses each.
Justice Cornelius Akintayo, the tribunal chairman adjourned till Aug. 19 and 21 for respondents to open their defence, stressing that the witnesses would run concurrently.
Meanwhile, speaking with newsmen, Apugo expressed satisfaction with the panel, adding tha he knew that he had a good case.
The storming session lasted till about 5pm before it closed for the day.