The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Owerri, Wednesday struck out the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate at the 2015 General Elections, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, on grounds that it was filed out of time.
Ihedioha is challenging the return of Governor Rochas Okorocha by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the April polls.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice David Wyon, after consideration of the arguments by both counsel, held that the petition was filed out of time.
Wyon, therefore, struck out the petition for being time barred.
The Okorocha’s Counsel, Akintola Adeniyi (SAN), had in a motion challenged that the petition was filed out of time.
Adeniyi had argued that the petitioner failed to pay his necessary fees on the day he approached the tribunal, which amounted to making the petition time barred.
He said the petition was filed on June 23, while the fees were paid after the stipulated time.
Adeniyi submitted that since the filing was out of time and the fees paid after stipulated time, the panel had no right to hear the petition.
He, therefore, urged the panel to strike out the petition based on the issues he had raised before the panel.
The Counsel to the petitioner, Mike Ahamba (SAN), argued that the petition was not out of time and that the fees were paid as and when due, just as he urged the panel to disregard the motion challenging the petition, adding that the respondent’s counsel was only trying to buy time.