The All Progressives Congress, APC, House of Representatives candidate for Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency seat, Mr I k Apugo continued the battle for the Reps seat at the Election Petition Tribunal Umuahia, with the calling of 25 witnesses to testify against the election of Hon. Sampson Onuigbo of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the last General Election.
At the Tribunal session today Monday 5th August 2019, the Petitioners counsel, Barr Oliver Amuzie made an application for the court to subpoena the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Abia State to produce the documents for the House of Representatives election for Ikwuano Umuahia federal constituency.
The petitioners counsel in his application said they don’t have the documents and efforts to make INEC release it to them have failed. He said he want the court to subpoena the REC to give them the register.
However, the respondent’s counsel asked court to dismiss the application to subpoena the REC for lack of merit. The respondent counsel argued that it is INEC that should be subpoena to send the REC who is an employee not the other way round. He further argued that all that the petitioners requested to prove their case have been given to them, adding that they keep asking for more to confuse the whole proceedings.
The respondent counsel further submitted that all the register for the three local government areas have been tendered as exhibits by the petitioners according to the record of July 16. But the petitioners counsel said that INEC has not released all the voters registered to them.
He cited section 77 of the Electoral Act which stipulates that application for documents can only be made through the REC within seven days. After taking the motions the three-man panel adjourned till Wednesday 7.
The petitioners are asking the tribunal in their petition to declared the candidate of APC, Apugo winner or declare the election inconclusive. The counsel to the petitioners told Newscritic online that they have a good case, adding that the decision is for the tribunal.