ABIA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL | #NwokeukwuMascot
UPDATE: High Chief Ikechi Emenike & APC vs INEC, LP & 5 Ors.
I have gotten many calls requesting for clarification about a poorly written update on the ongoing Governorship Election Tribunal in Abia State. Much as I would have loved to ignore the publication but for the sake of those who are interested in the proceedings.
The author, who obviously wrote from a narrow-minded prism or point of view, forgot, though intentionally to inform his readers that the matter he struggled to review was initiated by High Chief Ikechi Emenike and APC, while Chief Okey Ahiwe and PDP are Respondents in the matter. As Respondents, Chief Ahiwe and the PDP opened their defence and closed within the allocated time on a high note by tendering evidence that further questioned the declaration of Mr Alex Otti as winner of the 18th, March, 2023 Governorship Election.
Chief Okey Ahiwe and the PDP have their matter in a complete different suit challenging the declaration of Mr Alex Otti as winner. The matter is backed up with weighty evidence in support of their petition. This particular matter is the nightmare of Mr. Otti and Labour party. The author didn't remember to inform his readers of the difference, as they prepare to open defence in the suit.
With Chief Ahiwe and PDP as Respondents, it is clear to discerning minds that all the sensationalism imported by the author of that piece, purported to be a Labour Party official were misdirected and wrongfully too. The matter is between the Petitioners, High Chief Ikechi Emenike & APC Vs INEC, LP, Mr. Alex Otti & Ors.
Ordinarily, PDP has no reason to be part of the suit but because the Petitioners came a distant fourth in the governorship election, they (petitioners) joined all those who came 2nd and 3rd as declared by INEC.
Note; Barr Greg Esonu's witness duty was essentially to adopt his written deposition and tender evidence before the Tribunal in support of 4th & 5th Respondent's defence in the APC matter. As an experienced lawyer, he did well in tendering the following documents, copy of the Death Certificate of Prof. Uche Okonne, resignation letter of Chief Okey Ambrose Ahiwe as Chief of Staff, and result sheet for Obingwa LGA. The witness did even better in his responses to questions he was asked by opposing lawyers during cross examination.
The author also forgot to include that lawyers of the 4th and 5th Respondents, (Chief Ahiwe and PDP) tendered CTC, Certified True Copy of 2nd respondent's (LP) counter-affidavit of August 3, 2023, and also the Certified True Copy of the Judgement Order in suit No.FCH/KN/CA/107/23 of Kano Federal High Court between Ibahim Aruna Vs Labour Party & Another, among other documents.
The Labour Party State publicity Secretary forgot to capture that the Labour Party lawyers were thrown into utter confusion and panic as the Judgment Order of the FHC Kano was tendered as evidence before the Tribunal. He also forgot to tell his gullible followers that what the Kano Appeal Court gave was a temporary ruling (Not Judgement) to set aside the judgment of the FHC pending hearing of the substantive Appeal challenging the sack of All labour party candidates for breach of mandatory section 77(2)(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Note: It has been more than the statutory sixty (60) days to determine appeals by Appeal Courts. The only logical reason is to infer that the Petitioners (LP) may have abandoned their matter at the Appeal Court, therefore the FHC Judgement subsists.
The APC matter was adjourned for parties to write their final written addresses and replies, while in the PDP matter, Respondents are yet to open their defence.