Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
The Election Petition Tribunal for the re-run election in Abia state on Monday rejected Senator Mao Ohuabunwa’s claim that he was yet to be duly served the motion on notice in the petition filed by former governor of Abia state, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, who was the flag-bearer of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).
Ohuabunwa had, in motion filed by his counsel, Mr. Ukpai Ukairo, told the tribunal that the time allotted to him to respond to the petition filed by his opponent had not started running since he was not aware of the petition and its content.
But ruling on the motion, the tribunal chairman, Justice James Abundaga, rejected Ohuabunwa’s claim, saying that there was compelling evidence that he was duly served the motion on notice by the bailiff.
The court bailiff had in an affidavit filed before the tribunal insisted that she served Senator Ohuabunwa the motion on notice on Easter Monday before the commencement of his thanksgiving service to celebrate his victory in the senatorial rerun.
The tribunal agreed that the Abia North Senator was actually served the motion on notice at 10.20am on the said day before the commencement of the thanksgiving service at the Arochukwu stadium hence the Senator’s claim in his different affidavits that he was in his country home receiving friends at the time in question “are contradictory”.
The tribunal chairman raised a poser: “How did the 1st Respondent know about the matter if he was not served; the only reasonable conclusion is that he was served.”
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