Court dismisses PDP’s appeal over Abia guber poll
THE Appeal Court sitting in Owerri yesterday dismissed two applications brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appealing the ruling of the lower tribunal in Umuahia regardin the ongoing case between its candidate Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the April governorship poll in Abia, Mr. Alex Otti.
Counsel to the PDP, Charles Esonu, who is also the Secretary of the party, and his counterpart standing in for APGA, Nwala Chukwudi Oracle, consented to the judgment, appreciating the dexterity of the justices at the Appeal court, presided by Justice Jimmy Bada.
The PDP had in two suits numbers —CA/OW/EPT/3/2015 and CA/OW/EPT/4/2015 — appealed against the ruling of the tribunal in Umuahia, which ruled that the case should not have been entertained. The ruling party in Abia alleged that the pre-trial application form submitted by APGA was not properly signed. It further argued that APGA did not pay the necessary pre-trial fees, contending that the applications were not properly filed. The PDP had argued that the tribunal should not have entered hearing ab initio, based on their submissions, alleging that the Electoral Act was.
Delivering two separate judgments, justices H. A Baka and J. Shehu Abiriu dismissed the applications, noting that the lower tribunal in Umuahia, Abia State, should proceed with the trial of the case.
By the ruling, the tribunal, which has heard all the sides, would on October 14, entertain addresses before setting a date for judgment.
While Esonu, fielding questions from journalists after the judgment, said the lower tribunal judgment could address the motions raised by the parties, Oracle said the APGA candidate was hopeful on the outcome of the matter.