The Peoples Democratic Party and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State on Thursday prayed the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, to dismiss the petition filed by Dr Alex Otti, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
Otti, who is challenging the re-election of Ikpeazu, in the March 9, governorship poll in the state, alleged massive irregularities in 15 of 17 Local Government Areas in the state.
Adopting his final written address, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead counsel for Ikpeazu, urged the panel to dismiss the petitioner’s case for lacking in merit.
He argued that the main document which the petitioners were relying on was procured after their petition had been filed.
He accused the petitioners of dumping document on the panel, alleging that the document itself was suspicious.
In his address, Mr Onyinyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, counsel for the PDP, prayed the tribunal to discountenance the petitioners’ suit for failure to adduce sufficient evidence to their claims.
He posited that by calling only 65 witnesses to testify against the outcome of the poll in 788 polling units, the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned their pleadings in the remaining polling units.
In his submission, Mr Zakawanu Garuba, counsel for the second respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission said the documents tendered by the petitioners did not conform with the schedule of the electoral law.
He, therefore, urged the panel to disregard the petition.
But Lateef Fagbemi SAN, lead counsel for the petitioners, urged the panel to dismiss the objections of the respondents.
He claimed that the aspect of the law in which they were relying upon in their arguments with respect to the use of smart card readers had been changed.
Fagbemi also countered the submission of Olanipekun, saying that INEC never disowned the documents tendered by the petitioners.
After listening to all arguments in the matter, Justice Lekan Ogumonye, Chairman of the panel, reserved judgment for a date to be communicated to all the parties.