The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has dismissed the petition brought before it by Dr Uche Ogah, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and the APC against the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in the 2019 governorship poll.
The chairman of the panel, Justice A.L. Ogumoye dismissed the petition 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 the Electoral Act.
The panel had earlier dismissed two applications filed by INEC and PDP on the grounds that the seal of the legal practitioner who deposed to the documents were 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 PDP, 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 and will therefore not shift blame.
Meanwhile, the Tribunal has set 19th of June to commence the trial of the petition between Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, against Governor Ikpeazu, having concluded pre-hearing of the matter last Friday.
Commenting to the development in a telephone interview with News Critic, the administrative secretary of APC Abia state, Chief Paul Meregini said Ogah never went to the Tribunal ab initio, adding that he only filed a petition as a cover up to the fact that he never contested for governorship election as events have shown.
‘’Uche Ogah didn’t go to the Tribunal; he went on his own and never carried the party along. Nobody knows what he was doing; besides he never even came to monitor the progress of the petition or see the lawyer to ascertain what is happening with the petition. He didn’t even run for the election, the truth has started to unfold. His going to Tribunal is to justify the huge funds he collected. He is not a serious person, he said.