The petition filed by former national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance ,APGA, and the party’s senatorial candidate in the March 28, 2015 senatorial election in Anambra Central zone, Chief Victor Umeh, in which he is challenging the declaration of Mrs. Uche Ekwunife as winner of that election came to an abrupt end yesterday when the Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP, withdrew its witness at the last minutes, prompting the tribunal to adjourn the matter to September 10 for filing of written addresses.
Counsel to PDP in the petition, Mr. G.C. Igbokwe had pleaded with the tribunal on Monday to have the witness testify in the morning of the next Tuesday because he came from Abuja, a plea the tribunal headed by Mr. Justice A. Aganaba rejected because Umeh’s counsel, Chief Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, had a governorship election matter at another tribunal in Enugu.
The case was then adjourned to be heard at 4pm yesterday. However, when the case was called up, Igbokwe told the tribunal that he has thoroughly perused the evidence led in the case so far and believed that evidence to be produced have been given, he felt there was no need for his witness to mount the witness box”, even though the witness was in court. He, therefore, announced that he has closed his case.
At this point, Ikwueto, SAN, prayed the tribunal to give direction as to filing of written addresses by both the petitioners and the respondents.
Counsel to Ekwunife, Mr. Peter Eze asked for 10 days within which to file his written address “given that the petition was very fast and considering the upcoming Bar Conference.
Ikwueto also asked for 10 days to reply to the addresses, arguing that ordinarily, he ought to be given seven days to respond to each of the respondent’s written addresses.
The tribunal, however, gave the respondents 22 days to file their written addresses; 10 days to the respondents while the petitioner got 7 days. The respondents will also have 5 days to respond to the petitioner if need be.
The matter was then adjourned to September 10.


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