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Anxiety in Abia as Ikpeazu, Otti await tribunal judgement 

Anxiety in Abia as Ikpeazu, Otti await tribunal judgement

* Ikpeazu, PDP urge tribunal to dismiss Otti’s suit

* Disregard their objections – Otti
By  Steve Oko
Anxiety is at its peak across Abia State as judgement is being awaited on the suit filed by the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance,  APGA, Dr. Alex Otti against the election of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 election.
This is as Gov.  Ikpeazu  and his party, the  PDP, have urged the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, to dismiss the petition filed by Dr Otti, and APGA. 
Ikpeazu and PDP made the prayer Thurday as all parties in the suit including Otti adopted their final written addresses.
Adopting his final written address, Ikpeazu’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN,  urged the panel to dismiss Otti’s case for lack of merit.
He argued that “the main  document which  the petitioners were relying on was procured after their petition had been filed.”
Ikpeazu accused the petitioners of “dumping document on the panel”.
According to him, “the document itself is suspicious.”
Similarly, PDP through its counsel Mr Onyinyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, prayed the tribunal to throw away Otti’s suit  for lack of   sufficient evidence .
 
The PDP argued that  by calling  only 65 witnesses to testify against the outcome of the election in 788 polling units, the petitioners were  “deemed to have abandoned their claims in the remaining polling units.”
In the same vein, the  Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC, through its counsel,Mr Zakawanu Garuba, contended that the documents tendered by the petitioners did not tally with the electoral law.
INEC, therefore, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for want of sufficient evidence.
Meanwhile, Otti who is challenging the re-election of Ikpeazu, urged the panel to discountenance the objections of the respondents.
 
Adopting his final written address, his lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, alleged massive irregularities in 15 out of 17 councils in the state.
 
He prayed the tribunal to cancel the outcome of the election and order a fresh poll.
 

Otti’s lawyer contended that the aspect of the law in which the respondents based their arguments vis-a-vis the use of smart card readers  had been substituted.

He further argued that INEC never disowned the documents tendered by the petitioners.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the three -man panel, Justice Lekan Ogumonye, after listening to the submissions of all the parties, reserved judgment for a date to be communicated to all the parties.
 
Wawa News Global reports  that the court room was filled to capacity by supporters of both parties.
 
Both Ikpeazu and Otti were present at the court amidst cheers by their crowd of supporters who were milling outside the court room.
 
The entire court premises was also crowed by the supporters who thronged out from various LGAs in the state.
Later in an interview with newsmen, Otti expressed confidence that he would get justice at the tribunal.
His words : “We are very positive that we are going to win because we have marshalled out all the points, we have all the evidence and even if you see how  it was going today, you should be left in no doubt that  we have a very strong case”.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ikpeazu did not talk to newsmen as he simply entered his car and zoomed off after the court session .
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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