Abia South Senatorial Legal Battle: Simon Ekpa’s Threat Forces Appeal Court Owerri To Relocate To Abuja

Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba

The Court of Appeal Owerri Division handling elections petitions arising from the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly polls has relocated to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory for the hearing and determination of the appeal filled by Engr Chinedu Onyeizu of the Labour Party, LP, against the electoral victory of his main rival Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.

The relocation, The NewsCritic online authoritatively gathered is coming on the heels of heightened security concerns in the South East occasioned by the sit- at- home order declared by the factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Simon Ekpa.

The contentious sit-at-home order has precipitated a spate of violence in the whole of South-East region, with some unknown gunmen embarking on its enforcement.

Only last week Friday, July 28, 2023 about three gunmen reportedly attacked the country home of Onyeizu in Ohanze Obingwa local government area, in what the LP senatorial flag-bearer strongly believe was an assassination attempt on his life, even as the Abia state Police command has launched an investigation into the development.

NewsCritic online reports that the LP candidate Onyeizu had on July 17 appealed an earlier ruling of the Abia State election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia the state capital, which had on July 10, 2023 dismissed his petition on technical grounds.

Dissatisfied by the judgement of the Justice Adebayo Adeyinka led three-man panel, Engr Onyeizu, a former engineer with the oil exploration giant Chevron approached the Owerri Division of the Appeal Court for redress, which the hearing was fixed for August 3.

However, the Court last Monday July 31, 2023 informed the parties of its decision to relocate to the federal capital territory.

As at the time of filing this report today August 3, 2023, NewsCritic online could not establish if the court’s relocation will also affect other petitions before it.

Meanwhile the court has reserved ruling in the appeal for a date to be communicated to the parties in due course.

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