Awka - The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Awka has fixed February 13 for ruling on a motion seeking to strike out Dr Chike Obidigbo’s petition against Willie Obiano.
When the matter was called up in Awka on Tuesday, the counsel to INEC, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), moved a motion urging the tribunal to strike out the petition.
Awomolo argued that as at the date of the election, Obiano’s name was the only one representing APGA on the list of governorship candidates.
According to him, the proper forum to determine the candidate of APGA, which is a pre-election matter, is at the Court of Appeal, Enugu where a matter is still pending.
In their separate submissions, both the counsel to Victor Umeh’s faction of APGA, Mr Patrick Ikweto (SAN), and that of Obiano, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), did not oppose the motion.
However, in opposing the motion, the counsel to Obidigbo and Chief Maxi Okwu’s faction of APGA, Oba Maduabuchi, urged the tribunal to dismiss the application for lack of merit.
“Whether the petitioner is qualified or not is the main issue which cannot be determined at this stage.
The tribunal led by Justice Ishaq Bello adjourned till February13 for ruling.
Similarly, the tribunal adjourned till February 14 to enable Maduabuchi to reply to a motion filed by Ikweto which sought to strike out the name of APGA as the second petitioner in the suit filed by Obidigbo against Obiano.
Two motions in the petition filed by Senator Chris Ngige against INEC, Obiano and APGA were also deferred to February 12 for hearing.
The tribunal also adjourned the petition between PDP and INEC and 25 others till Wednesday for hearing on a motion for consolidation.
Ishaq commended the cooperation and sense of maturity exhibited by the lawyers, urging them to ensure continuity of such cooperation till the end.
He also assured them that the tribunal would de-emphasise striking out petitions on grounds of technicality.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.