MPPP presents 35 witnesses against Obiano at guber tribunal
• ADC, APGA, INEC’s cases stalled
Candidate of the Mega Progressive People’s Party (MPPP) in the last November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, Ms. Praise Okechukwu, has presented 35 witnesses to testify at the tribunal against Governor Willie Obiano.
Her counsel, Mr. Nkem Ekweozozoh disclosed this during the tribunal’s sitting in Awka, the state capital.Okechukwu said the move was to claim her mandate. In her amended application, the petitioner prayed the court to annul the November election in Anambra and order a fresh contest.She argued that Obiano was not qualified to participate in that poll, because his party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) did not legitimately nominate him.
The counsel further prayed the court to admit his application as it was in line with letters of the Electoral Act.In his argument, counsel to Obiano, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, urged the court to dismiss the amended application, stating that the Electoral Act permitted petitioners to alter their petition if need be, within 21 days provided by the law.He urged the tribunal to discountenance the application as the time for altering substantial element of the petition had elapsed.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice H.A. Olusiyi, however ruled that the pre-hearing session would continue in the next sitting. Olusiyi said ruling on the application would be made on April 23.
Meanwhile, the suit between the candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dr. Paul Obianaso against Obiano, APGA and INEC was stalled because of absence of the witnesses.Counsel to Obianaso, Mr. Emeka Agbapuonwu, prayed the court to give him 10 days to serve the witnesses, so that they could be summoned.
Justice Olusiyi reminded the parties on the need to expedite the process, as the tribunal must end on June 9.After a consensus by both counsels, it was agreed that the petitioner be allowed to produce his critical witness within the days that he asked for.The matter was adjourned till May 4 for further hearing.
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