Abia Elections Petition: How judges, APC, Others connived to scuttle justice

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Facts have emerged on why the three member panel of the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal in Abia State dismissed the case instituted by the Action Alliance (AA) against Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressive Congress (APC).

The Action Alliance had petitioned the tribunal following the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upload the name of the candidate submitted by the Dr Adekunle Rufai Omoaje led national executive of the party.

The AA had nominated the name of Hon Ifeanyi Chukwuka as its House of Representatives candidate for the House of Representatives before the last general elections.

To this end, both the party and the candidate approached the tribunal and the matter generated interest from various stakeholders from both within and outside the state.

It was gathered that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly showed interest in the matter, as the party won the election and the candidate, Hon Okezie eventually emerged the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

It was gathered that the matter was closed before the tribunal after all the parties in the matter had made their final submissions and the panel of the tribunal was to fix a date to deliver final judgement on the matter.

While expecting the tribunal to fix a date for the final judgement on the petition filed by the AA, it was learnt that the matter was allegedly withdrawn by one Kenneth Udeze, who had since been suspended and subsequently expelled from the party.

Udeze who reportedly withdrew the matter was alleged to be an impostor and an impersonator as he has no link to the party, having been expelled by the National Convention, which is the highest organ of the party.

It was learnt that the purported withdrawal of the petition prompted the tribunal panel made up of Justices Samson Paul Gang, Kabiru Ibrahim Ahmed and Abdulfatai Baba Sekoni to dismiss the petition.

However, findings revealed that the original plaintiff which is the Action Alliance eventually got the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment despite efforts by the tribunal to scuttle their efforts at getting it.

The plaintiff, armed by the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment thereafter prepared an appeal before the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the tribunal.

Besides, investigations revealed that two conflicting judgements were delivered by the tribunal and the two different judgements were gotten by the original plaintiff (AA), which further forms a strong ground for the appeal.

It was however gathered that the 10 days which the law give for the appeal to lapse on Tuesday, 19th September, 2023, hence the alarm being raised by the party to call the attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders in the Judicial sector to the ugly development.

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