ABIA GOVERNORSHIP TUSSLE: Ikpeazu Rejects Otti’s Bid To Join Abia Gov Suit
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and another governorship aspirant in the 2015 election, Uche Ogah, on Tuesday rejected the application by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, to join the legal action on the governorship seat at the Supreme Court.
According to them, an attempt by Otti to be joined in the suit would breach the law because he has no legal right for the request.
Counsel for Ikpeazu, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), objected to the hearing of the appeal by Otti on the ground that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had, on August 18, shut out Otti in its judgment.
Olanipekun told Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed that the appellate court, which on August 18 rejected the joinder application, had given judgment in the substantive suit, adding that since Otti was not in the substantive matter, he has no right of appeal to be joined in the case again.
He argued that no order was made against him (Otti) and as such, has no business to seek to enter into the case.
Counsel for Ogah, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), also objected to the application of the appellant (Otti) to be joined in the matter.
He argued that the request to be joined by Otti had come to a final end in the appellate court where he was disallowed from joining the substantive suit in the disputed qualification of Ikpeazu.
Counsel for Otti, Chief Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), had sought to move his motion for the joint action for his client to be brought into the legal dispute.
After arguments from Olanipekun, Iziyon and Ikwueto, Justice Mohammed ordered the senior lawyers to file their briefs of arguments on their positions and make same available to the court within 14 days.
He ruled that the court will fix a date for hearing of the matter as soon as the briefs of arguments were filed.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has granted the application by Ogah to amend his notice of appeal and to appeal on mixed law in his matter challenging the qualification of Ikpeazu of Abia State in the April 2015 governorship election.
The court granted the request filed by his lawyer, Iziyon, in which he prayed the court to allow him amend his earlier notice of appeal and to predicate his appeal on mixed law.
Olanipekun and other parties in the matter did not object to the application, prompting Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, to grant his request.
The Judge held that with the granting of the leave to the appellant, a new date will be communicated to the parties for hearing of the matter.