Godwin Tsa Abuja
The Supreme Court has fixed 2 pm to deliver its judgment in the appeal challenging the election of Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The appeal was filed by the All Progressives Congress (APGA) and its candidate, Alex Otti, seeking to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had upheld Governor Ikpeazu’s victory.
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The seven-man panel of the apex court presided over by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour announced the time shortly after lawyers representing parties in the appeal ended their submissions.
The appellants in their appeal argued by their lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, prayed the apex court to nullify the election of Ikpeazu on grounds of alleged over-voting and non-compliance with electoral laws.
Fagbemi, in adopting his brief of argument, urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court and declare Otti as the lawful winner of the March 9 governorship election in Abia State or, in the alternative, order a fresh election.
In their separate replies, the respondents urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
While counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adopted his brief of argument in urging the apex court to dismiss the appeal, counsel to Ikpeazu and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and Dr levy Uzoukwu, SAN, respectively told the court that the case of the appellants lacked merit because it was hinged on alleged over-voting occasioned by non-use of the card reader which the apex court has held cannot dethrone the manual accreditation of voters.
After taking their various submissions, Justice Rhodes-Vivour announced that judgment in the appeal was fixed for 2 pm Wednesday, January 8.