Enugu - The State and National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Enugu has reserved ruling for August 3 in the petition challenging the election of Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu North).
William Ezeugwu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is challenging the declaration of Utazi as the winner of the Enugu North Senatorial Zone election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ezeugwu also challenged the eligibility of the PDP candidate to contest the party’s primary election.
Utazi’s counsel, Justina Offia (SAN), requested the tribunal to strike out the petition as the name and signature written on it did not bear the word ‘solicitor to the petitioner’.
She said that the Electoral Act stated clearly that the name and signature of the legal practitioner signing a petition must be stated.
“In this case, I do not know if Nnaemeka Eze who signed the petition is a carpenter or a tailor.
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“There must be agency relationship between a petitioner and his counsel and the designation of the person who signed the petition must be stated,” she said.
Offia also argued that the petitioner was not a member of the PDP and had no right to delve into the nomination and sponsorship of the party.
“Nomination of PDP candidates is purely its affair and not another party’s affair.
“The petition itself was addressed to the National Assembly Legislative House Petition Tribunal.
“Therefore, the State and National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain such as it was not addressed to them.
“You cannot write a petition to a high court and the matter is being attended to at the appeal court,” she said.
Meanwhile, the petitioner’s counsel, Tagbo Ike, could not defend his case and appealed for extension of time to enable him to prepare his defence.
The tribunal adjourned the case till August 3 to enable the petitioner to prepare his defence.