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AHIWE VS OTTI (TRIBUNAL): How PDP Lost Two Days On Witness Schedule | READ DETAILS


AHIWE VS OTTI (TRIBUNAL): How PDP Lost Two Days On Witness Schedule | READ DETAILS


The 2023 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia state, has deducted two days out of the ten days window period scheduled for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s governorship candidate, Chief Okey Ahiwe to present their witnesses before the Tribunal in the suit where they are contesting the outcome of the March 11, 2023 election which produced Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party as the Executive governor of Abia State.


At the resumption of pre-hearing on Thursday, July 27 into the suit between PDP/Okey Ahiwe (plaintiffs) and Labour Party, Alex Otti and INEC (1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents/defendants), the prosecuting counsel, C.A.N. Nwokeukwu, SAN after tendering some documents in evidence including series of Form EC8A (result sheets at polling unit level) of 11 disputed Local Government Areas of the state and series of form EC8B (result sheets at ward level) from three local governments, failed to present his remaining witnesses.

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Recall that ALL FACTS NEWSPAPER (AFNEWS), had reported that Nwokeukwu after fielding three witnesses on Wednesday, pleaded for an adjournment till Thursday citing security reasons.


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On resumption on Thursday, Nwokeukwu also prayed the tribunal to adjourn sitting till Tuesday, August 1, 2023 to enable him prep and also subpoena his other witnesses.


“my next witnesses will be witnesses on subpoena. We have not served them but we have made arrangement with the bailiff to serve the witnesses” the counsel told the tribunal.

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The tribunal chairman, Justice H.T.D. Gwadah, however queried the counsel on the remaining  four witnesses scheduled to have been presented at the last sitting.




Responding, the PDP’s counsel said the witnesses are not based in Abia state and arrangements needs to be made to facilitate their return.


“They are your witnesses and they are bound to appear in court as witnesses. You have ten days to field witnesses and any day we don’t sit, will be counted” Justice Gwadah reminded the counsel.


“My Lord, Saturday is sanitation in Abia state, Sunday is church service and Mondays there are no vehicular movement” Nwokeukwu argued.

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Gwadah noted that the tribunal sits day to day including Mondays. Nwokeukwu responded “My Lord sitting on Mondays is the unsafest thing to do in Abia state now”.


When the court sought their opinion, the respondents opted to concede to Nwokeukwu’s plea for the next adjournment date to be fixed for Tuesday on the condition that the tribunal will deduct the number of days wasted on the witness schedule.


In her ruling, Justice Gwadah noted that the Tribunal would adjourn till Tuesday, August 1, 2023 while Two days would be deducted from PDP’s witness schedule.


Meanwhile, the respondents objected to all the documents presented by the plaintiffs as evidence, however, the Tribunal admitted them as exhibits.

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