This is the update of the Abia Gubernatorial Tribunal, Which was supposed to hold on 14th October is finally held yesterday, 19th October 2015 and below is the update direct from the court sitting in Umuahia.
The case is being introduced by the court registrar.
Alex Otti (APGA) vs Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP)
Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), leading D petitioners’ counsel today is now introducing his team. With him is Chief Awa Kalu,SAN.
Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), leading the first respondent’s counsel today, is now introducing his team.
Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), leading the R2 counsel today, is now introducing his team. He’s supported by Paul Ananaba (SAN)
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), leading the R3 counsel, is introducing his team. He’s supported by Dr Levy Uzoukwu (SAN)
The Abia tribunal chairman, Bwala explains that the reason why the sitting was adjourned from 14/10/15 to yesterday was because of the legal week.
(read more after the cut…)
Chief Olanipekun (SAN), addressing the judges now that nobody has the right according to the constitution to tell them not to sit The bench while bar are deliberating on allocation of time for adoption and replies to each party.
The judge concludes that there will be only one adoption, that there will not be any time allocated for reply on point of law.
Olanipekun, SAN, raises issue of an advertorial on D nation newspaper P41 which he accuses 2nd P of doing to weep up sentiment Olanipekun, SAN, goes on that this issue should be sorted before moving on with today’s proceedings.
APGA Chairman who is being accused of putting up the advertorial leaves the court and the Rs counsel start shouting.
The judges orders police to bring the APGA chairman back to the court. It’s heating up now. The judge addressing everyone . The J asks the APGA chairman if he wrote the advert, he said he doesn’t know anything about it.
(End of the matter)
J says that from now onwards, any other advertorial about AbiaTribunal by any party, D party’s counsel will be held responsible
J rules that 10 minutes will be allocated to each party for adoption, there will be no reply.
Olanipekun raises another issue that what the law allows is only one reply of 40 pages by the petitioner
That it’s against the law for the petitioners to file 3 different 40 pages to the 3 respondents.
Olanipekun maintains that the Ps cannot adopt 3 addresses, that they should chose the one to adopt out of the 3.
R2 supports the submission of the R1 that the petitioners should be restricted to one address of 40 pages.
R3 also aligns himself to the submissions of R1 and R2, that the Ps be made to adopt one of the series of addresses.
Akeredolu, SAN, argues that the Rs have not cited any case to support their objections.
Akeredolu, SAN, goes on that it will be standing justice on his head if Rs file 120 pages and expect P to reply with only 40
P goes on that if Rs had issues wit D replies, they would’ve put application,but they didn’t,they even replied on point of law.
R1 replies that when the law is clear, he does not need to cite any authority to help the judges to do the right thing.
R1 stands to adopt his address, reads out D dates of filing. Adopts D processes and urge his lordships to dismiss the petition
R1 goes on that the reliefs are ungrantable, “how can Ps say U should nullify election and also ask U to return him”
R1 goes on that Ps star witness submitted that he is a legal practitioner and came to witness box to deny it.
R1 goes on that the figures pleaded in the petition is different from the figures tendered.
R1 cites cases number 8, 13,17 and 18 to say that D time has come for Nigerians to accept democracy & the wishes of the people
R2 adopts his written address.
R2 cites Ucha vs Elechi (2012), that for U to prove that there is irregularities, U’ve to call witnesses PU by PU
R2 also cites Gundiri vs Nyako (2014), to say that Ps ought to prove their case by calling witnesses PU by PU.
R2 also cites Buhari vs Obasanjo, that any manual that disregards the election register is null and void.
R3 says that Ps ve failed woefully to prove their case & that this is D only petition where P himself failed to give evidence
Akeredolu, SAN, adopts the Ps’ written addresses in urging his lordships to find it in favour of the Ps.
P urge his lordships to look into the reliefs if they are grantable or not.
P cites INEC vs Oshiomorle (2009), to say that the petition is signed.
P says that this is election petition and since its generic, the burden of prove shifts.
P cites Ogboru vs Ugwuanyi (2011), to show that the burden of prove to show proper accreditation is on the Rs.
P says that even the R3 did not call any witness to show that there was election in those 3 LGAs that are contentious
“And that concludes the adoption of written addresses.” Judge addressing the AbiaTribunal now.
“The final judgement will be out soon!”