Power outage stalls Ebonyi NASS election tribunal sitting

Hearing to the petition filed at the National Assembly (NASS) Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Monday, 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 on Monday filled to capacity with hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters made the courtroom very unconducive as moments of waiting for the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to restore the power proved abortive.

The tribunal which was expected to commence sitting at exactly 11:00 a.m. on Monday 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 February 25, 2019, declared the candidate of PDP, Hon. Lazarus Ogbe, winner of the Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency which prompted the Candidate of APC, Comrade Chinedu Ogah, to approach the tribunal seeking to be declared the winner of the election.

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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 counsel to both parties for a 15-minute 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 reconvened 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 effect 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.

News Express

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