Abia Guber Petition: Tribunal Adjourns For Judgment

Gov Theordor Orji, Abia State governor.

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has adjourned for judgment in the petition brought by Chief Stanley Ohajuruka.

Ohajuruka, Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in the April 26 polls is challenging the declaration of Gov Theodore Orji of the PDP as the duly elected candidate.

Gov Theordor Orji, Abia State governor.

Ohajuruka in the petition had prayed the tribunal to nullify the election and call for re-run on the grounds that it was marred by irregularities.

Mr Justice Mobolaji Ojo after a resumed sitting on Monday for the adoption of written addresses by parties in the matter adjourned indefinitely for judgment.

Mr Ken Mozia (SAN) and counsel to the petitioner in his final address had stated that none of the witnesses brought by the respondents testified that electoral materials were distributed and received.

He said though the burden of proof as to the invalidity of the election was on the petitioner, “the respondents equally have a duty to discharge.

“But the initial burden of discharging such duty and placing same on the shoulders of the petitioners was not met.

“It is the duty of the respondents to tender and front-load Forms EC25B and EC8A, including the voters’ register, but that was not done.

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“Their witnesses had testified that they collected result sheets they used to allocate scores,” he said.

Mozia said that the petitioner had tendered sufficient evidence before the tribunal to prove that no valid governorship election held in Abia.

“All these evidences have been shown in our addresses and we urge the tribunal to hold that there was no valid election in Abia,” Mozia said.

Earlier, Mr Uche Ihediwa and council to the 1st respondent urged the tribunal to note that only five paragraphs of the petitioners’ petition survived the preliminary stage.

“The petitioners did not tender any evidence to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

“This is a castrated and academic petition and we urge the tribunal to dismiss it,” Ihediwa said.

Mr O. Onyeka who held the brief of Mr Livy Uzoukwu for the 3rd respondent said that the tribunal could not rely on the brilliance job done on paper by the petitioner to nullify the election.

Uzoukwu urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of merit.

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