From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
THE Election Rerun Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State capital, has threatened to relocate to Abuja if the state government fails to address the discomfort inherent in using the State High Court, venue of the sitting since inception.
The tribunal stated this before adjourning its sitting for the third time on Tuesday.
During the first adjournment, the tribunal could not sit because the chairman, Justice James Abundaga was indisposed .
But, the second and third were because the court room was stuffy and hot as neither the fans nor the air conditioners were functional.
Justice Abundaga lamented the absence of a standby generator to augment the erratic public power supply and hinted that the tribunal may be forced to relocate to Abuja, if the situation was not addressed.
He observed that most times, when they arrived the venue of the tribunal, the court room would not have been swept as those who came early would be battling with cobwebs, showing that attention was not being paid to the environmental condition of the place.
Chief Maduka Okoro, who spoke to Daily Sun after the adjournment, observed that the sanitary condition of the court room seemed to be another way of discouraging the Justices from continuing their judicial functions in the state, otherwise, “are there not court staff who can do that and government in place to provide the required amenities.”
The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate in the rerun election of March 5, 2016, and former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, had challenged the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the rerun election, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as winner of the election.
Kalu wants to be declared winner having polled the majority of the lawful votes cast.
The tribunal had, at its inaugural sitting, granted the petitioner (Kalu) leave to inspect materials used for the rerun, but, since then, it has been one adjournment after another.
The adjournment yesterday was indefinite.