The 2019 Governorship Election petitions tribunal sitting in Abia State has dismissed the petition brought before it by Dr Uche Ogah and the All Progressive Congress (APC) against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and four other respondents.
The chairman of the panel, Justice A.L. Ogumoye dismissed the petition while ruling on a motion filed by Governor Ikpeazu, who is the fourth respondent, through his legal team.
Justice Ogumoye held that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned their petition having failed to activate the pre trial hearing process within the time stipulated by the Electoral Act.
The panel had earlier dismissed two applications filed by INEC and PDP on the grounds that the seal of the legal practitioner who deposed to the documents were not attached, thereby rendering the documents incompetent.
Reacting to the ruling, one of the lawyers representing Governor Ikpeazu, Mr Uche Ihediwa and that of the PDP, Mr James Igwe, SAN, hailed the decision of the tribunal while council to Dr Ogah and the APC, Mr Godwin Chionye, said the position of the tribunal was based on law and will therefore not shift blame.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has set 19th of June 2019 to commence the trial of the petition between Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, against Governor Ikpeazu, having concluded prehearing of the matter last Friday.