NASS election tribunal sitting suffers set back in Ebonyi

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki
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The National Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital today witnessed a major setback following power outage which lasted for several hours at the State Judicial Complex Abakaliki venue of the tribunal.

The tribunal room which was filled to its capacity with hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party PDP and the All Progressives Congress APC supporters made the court room very unconducive as several period of waiting for the Electricity Distribution Company to restor the light proved abortive.

The tribunal which was expected to commence its sitting at exactly 11am this morning also started beyond schedule as the tribunal Chairman, Justice S,H Aprioku appeared in court at about 12 noon and apologised that the lateness was as a result of the power outage.

It would be recalled that, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC had on the 25th of February 2019 had declared the candidate of the People's Democratic Party PDP, Hon Lazarus Ogbe winner of the Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency which prompted the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Chinedu Ogah to approach the tribunal seeking to be declared the winner of the election.

Counsel to Comrade Ogah, Mba Ukweni SAN in suit number EPT/EB/REP/01/2019 avarred that the result of the election cancelled by the commission was collated at the polling units and the ward levels adding that the result announced by the commission was not the original result collated at the polls.

The Tribunal Chairman after listening to the submission and prayers of counsel to the petitioner, sought the leave of counsels to both parties for a 15 minutes adjournment which was unanimously adopted because of the power outage.

It was observed that within the period of the adjournment, power was restored at the complex which prompted the tribunal to reconvene and just as the tribunal was about to commence sitting, the power went off again and the place became unconducive again.

At this point, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Aprioku considering the affect of the power outage, adjourned the hearing till Friday 17th May 2019 for continuation of the hearing and to enable the court fix the power problem in the complex.