The 2019 Governorship Election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia Abia State has dismissed the petition brought before it by the All Progressives Congress, governorship candidate in the state Mr. Uche Ogah, against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and four other respondents.
The chairman of the panel, Justice A.L. Ogumoye dismissed the motion while ruling on a motion filed by Governor Ikpeazu, (who is the fourth respondent), through his legal team.
Justice Ogumoye held that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned their petition having failed to activate the pre-trial hearing process within the time stipulated by paragraph subsection four of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.
The panel had earlier dismissed two applications filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party on the grounds that the seal of the legal practitioner who deposed to the documents was not attached, thereby rendering the documents incompetent.
Reacting to the ruling, one of the lawyers representing Governor Ikpeazu, Mr. Uche Ihediwa and that of the Peoples Democratic Party Mr. James Igwe, SAN, hailed the decision of the tribunal while counsel to Dr. Ogah and the APC, Mr. Godwin Chionye, said the position of the tribunal was based on law.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has set the 19th of June to commence the trial of the petition between Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, against Ikpeazu, having concluded pre-hearing of the matter last Friday.