My life under threat, Abia lawmaker tells tribunal 

 

My life under threat, Abia lawmaker tells tribunal

 

From Leonard Egwuma

The member representing Isuikwuato state constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Emeka Okoroafor on Wednesday told the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Abia that his life had been threaten by unknown persons in the last couple of days.

Okoroafor, a second respondent, alleged that his life was being threatened in connection with the petition filed against him by Mr John Ogele, the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Ogele had approached the tribunal to challenge the victory of Okoroafor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9, 2019 House of Assembly election for Isuikwato state constituency.

Ogele who came fourth in the election, is asking the tribunal to return him as winner of the election.

Ogele, who was a two-term member of the Abia assembly alleged alteration and swapping of the election results.

While at the proceeding on Wednesday, Okoroafor raised the alarm before the Justice Cornelius Akintayo-led three-member tribunal, immediately after he was being cross-examined as a star witness.

Okoroafor, the House Committee Chairman on Justice and Judiciary and House Committee Chairman on Public Petition, said that unknown persons had been trailing him in the past couple of days.

“My lord, I have been finding it difficult to go to my constituency. You come, you see somebody trailing you. You park, he parks. You move he moves.

“It has made it difficult for me to sleep over in Isuikwato since the commencement of this trial,” he said.

Okoroafor alleged that he witnessed a similar incident prior to the election where he was nearly kidnapped but miraculously escaped it.

He told the court that he was incapacitated in engaging the security agents because of the pending trial.

But Mr C.C Elele, counsel to the petitioner debunked the allegation, arguing that Okoroafor was only trying to whip up sentiment on the ongoing trial.

He said that the respondent, who is also a learned colleague, was being callous and unfair, stressing that he was at liberty to contact the security agents if there was such a threat.

In his immediate response, Ogele said it was a grievous allegation against him and urged the tribunal to discountenance it.

“I only accosted the respondent on Monday for bringing people who are not presiding officers to appear in court as witnesses,” Ogele said.

However, the chairman told the respondent told contact the police for any complain, adding that anything concerning threat to life or assult was outside the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, he gave the petitioners five days to file their written arguments and three days for respondents to reply on point of law.

The matter was adjourned to Sept. 4 for adoption of final written addresses.

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