Thursday, July 2, 2015

Abia: Tribunal to hear Otti’s petition July 13

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has fixed July 10 and 13 respectively for confirmation  and pre-hearing in the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance,  Dr. Alex Otti, against the election of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Otti seeks the nullification of Ikpeazu’s election and his ( Otti’s) declaration as the winner of the governorship poll in the state.
The Tribunal Chairman, Hon. Justice Usman Bwala, while adjourning sitting on Thursday, said it was expected that before the new dates,  all the processes would have been served and replies also filed by all the parties in the matter.
He gave all  the parties up to the end of Thursday next week to file all their motions, warning that no other motions would be acceptable after the next sitting.
Counsel for Otti, Chief Awa Kalu, had, during the sitting, withdrawn a petition he had earlier filed, seeking an order of the tribunal to enable Otti to inspect all the documents used in the  election.
He lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission was making the inspection of the materials too cumbersome for his client.
Later in an interview with journalists, Kalu explained that he had filed a fresh motion to replace the one he withdrew.
The fresh motion, according to him,  was seeking the assistance of the tribunal in clearing  the bottlenecks frustrating the inspection of the electoral materials by forensic experts  brought by Otti.