Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
At least, 35 petitions have been filled by aggrieved candidates in the just-concluded national and state house of assembly elections in Abia State.
Secretary of the panel, Belo Hassan, said that the petitions comprised nine from senatorial candidates and 26 from house of representatives.
Hassan disclosed this in an interview with our Correspondent as the Justice Halima Saleeman-led three-man panel began sitting Tuesday in Umuahia High Court.
The panel during its maiden sitting entertained eight petitions.
Other members of the panel include Justice Ani Ebong and Justice Mohammed Haruna.
During Tuesday’s sitting, the tribunal granted order for substituted service on the Respondents in all eight petitions.
It also ordered INEC to grant the petitioners access to inspect materials used in the elections.
Some of the petitions include the one filed by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party, against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressives Congress (Abia North); Rep Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, APC, against Amobi Ogah of Labour Party, for Isuikwuato-Umunneochi federal constituency.
The panel granted Senator Ohuabunwa’s motion ex parte filed on March 23 for an order for substituted service of the petition and all other processes in his petition by pasting same on the entrance of NEYA Resort Igbere, Bende LGA.”
Others include Austin Akobundu, PDP, against Darlington Nwokocha, LP, (Abia Central); and Onyeizu Chiemeze, LP, against Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, APGA (Aba South).
Col. Austin Akobundu, PDP; Rep Sam Onuigbo, APC; and Ahamdi Nweke, APGA, also filed petition against Nwokocha of LP ( Abia Central).
Similarly, Okuji Oreh of APGA petitioned against the winner, Okwara Osonwa of LP in Arochukwu-Ohafia federal constituency; just as the incumbent Rep. Chimaobi Ebisike, PDP, petitioned against Emeka Nnamani of LP.
The panel adjourned sitting till Wednesday, March 29.
There are no petitions so far on state house of assembly elections according to the Secretary of the panel.