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Tribunal strikes out Omehia’s case on Amaechi

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Written by Isa Umar Gusau, Port Harcourt Friday, 29 July 2011 05:00

The election petitions tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has struck out the petition brought before it by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Celestine Omehia challenging the re-election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi in the April 26, 2011 elections in the state.

Omehia, who is cousin to Amaechi, came second at the governorship pulling 112,528 votes against Amaechi’s over 1.4 million votes. But the APGA’s flag bearer went to the tribunal challenging the declaration of Amaechi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as re-elected.

In his ruling yesterday, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Amina Wambai, said the petition was thrown out because it was not properly filed; that the petition was not filed as a motion but rather, a letter was written to the tribunal through its secretary.

Wambai said even the letter in question was not sent to the tribunal within the time stipulated by the Electoral Act within which petitioners can file petitions against election results. The chairman advised applicants to seek redress in a higher court of law.

The tribunal had, on July 15, 2011 given similar ruling on the petition brought before it by the governorship candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Abiye Precious Sekibo even though in his case, he made attempt to withdraw the petition from the tribunal.

Omehia couldn’t be reached to react but sources close to him said he will appeal the judgment. Omehia had not long ago told newsmen in Port Harcourt that he was confident of winning at the tribunal even though he claimed there were efforts by some forces to frustrate the case. Amaechi and Omehia have been bitter rivals since 2007 with their family members in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers and supporters sharply divided.


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Tribunal strikes out Omehia’s case on Amaechi

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