Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, and the man seeking to remove him from the office, Dr. Samson Ogah, yesterday opposed the bid by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alex Otti, to join the legal action on the Abia State governorship seat now pending at the Supreme Court.
The two politicians on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) informed the court that an attempt by Otti to be included in the legal tussle would breach the law since he had no legal right to justify his application to join the appeal.
Opposing Otti’s application, Ikpeazu, through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), objected to hearing of the appeal filed by Otti on the grounds that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had on August 18 shut him out and refusing his application to be a party.
Olanipekun told the court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed that the Appeal Court which, on August 18 rejected the joinder application, had given judgment in the substantive matter and that since Otti was not in the substantive matter, he had no right of appeal to be joined in the matter again.
The counsel argued that no order was made against him (Otti) and as such, he had no business dabbling into the matter.
Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) who stood for Ogah, also objected to the application of the appellant (Otti) to be joined in the matter.
Izinyon argued that the request for joinder by Otti had come to a final end in the court of appeal where he was disallowed from joining the substantive suit.
Otti through his counsel, Chief Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) had sought to move his motion for joinder for the APGA governorship candidate in the 2015 governorship election to be brought into the dispute.
After arguments from Olanipekun, Izinyon and Ikwueto, Justice Mohammed ordered the senior lawyers to file their briefs of arguments and make same available to the court within 14 days.
Justice Mohammed ruled that the court would fix a date for hearing of the matter as soon as the briefs of arguments have been filed.
Meanwhile, the court granted Ogah’s application for leave to amend his notice of appeal.
Olanikpekun and other lawyers did not object to the application, prompting Justice Mohammed to grant the application.
Justice Tanko said with the granting of the leave to the appellant, a new date would be communicated to parties for hearing of the matter.