Thursday, September 21, 2023
HomeNewsElection Tribunal Begins Hearing on Ebonyi Governorship Dispute; Odoh Challenges Nwifuru's Candidacy

Election Tribunal Begins Hearing on Ebonyi Governorship Dispute; Odoh Challenges Nwifuru’s Candidacy

The Petitions Tribunal commenced proceedings on Wednesday, scrutinizing the petition lodged by Prof. Benard Odoh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance against Governor Francis Nwifuru, recently inaugurated as the leader of Ebonyi State.

Nwifuru, endorsed as the victor of the March 2023 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has come under the scanner following questions raised about his nomination.

Odoh, the opposition candidate, has cast doubt on Nwifuru’s nomination as the All Progressives Congress flag bearer in the recent elections. In his presentation before the tribunal, Odoh pointed out that Nwifuru was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time of his nomination, the very platform that had previously appointed him as Speaker for eight years.

As proceedings were underway in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr. J.S. Okutekpa (SAN), appealed for a pause to allow all parties involved to synchronize their viewpoints on the issues that are to be presented and resolved during the formal hearing of the petition.

He asserted, “The application for the issuance of hearing notice was just served on me at about 9.41 am this morning. The parties involved should be given time to study the pre-hearing notice and other applications. Other applications should be served this morning too.”

“A date for the pre-hearing should be allocated as per the court’s protocols, to prevent the need for interpretations in the style of Magu Vs Sule,” Okutekpa stated.

Meanwhile, the counsels representing the APC, Mr Abdul Ibrahim (SAN), Governor Nwifuru, Barr. Roy Nweze, and INEC, Barr. Nnamdi offered no objections. They all indicated their readiness for the pre-hearing, showcasing a united front as the petition proceedings began.



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