Judiciary

PDP, Ipeazu urges tribunal to dismiss petition filed by AGPA

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Otti, who is challenging the re-election of Gov. Ikpeazu,  in the March 9, governorship  poll in the state, alleged massive irregularities in 15 of 17 local councils in the state.

Adopting his final written address, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN,  lead counsel for  Ikpeazu, urged the panel to dismiss the petitioner’s case for lacking in merit.

He argued that the main  document which  the petitioners were relying on was procured after their petition had been filed.

He accused the petitioners of dumping document on the panel, alleging that the document itself was suspicious.

In his address, Mr Onyinyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, counsel for the PDP, prayed the tribunal to discountenance the petitioners’ suit  for  failure  to  adduce  sufficient evidence  to their claims.

He posited that  by calling  only 65 witnesses to testify against the outcome of the poll in 788 polling units, the petitioners were  deemed to have abandoned their pleadings in the remaining polling units.

In his submission, Mr Zakawanu Garuba, counsel  for the second respondent, the  Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) said the documents tendered by the petitioners did not conform with the schedule of the electoral law.

He, therefore, urged the panel to disregard the petition.

But Lateef Fagbemi SAN, lead counsel for the petitioners, urged the panel to dismiss the objections of  the respondents.

He claimed  that the aspect of the law in which they were relying upon in their arguments  with respect to the use of smart card readers  had been changed.

Fagbemi also countered the submission of Olanipekun, saying that INEC never disowned the documents tendered by the petitioners.

Aftr listening to all arguments in the matter,  Justice Lekan Ogumonye, Chairman of the panel, reserved judgment for a date to be communicated all the parties.
LEO/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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