Election tribunal: Mbah fails to honour tribunal summons

Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah, on Friday, failed to appear before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu.

The tribunal had, on Thursday, ordered a substituted service of a subpoena on Mbah through his lawyer.

This was following an application by counsel to the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Barr Alex Amujiogo.

The subpoena was immediately served on Mbah’s lawyer by Amujiogo.

However, when the case came up on Friday, the PRP counsel told the Tribunal that Mbah did not honour the summons.

Amujiogo said, “This Honourable Tribunal had on June 22, 2023 made an order that the subpoena be served on Barr Peter Mbah through his counsel. We have since done that for him to appear today.

“My Lord, it is obvious that he is not in court under the pretence of immunity. And today is my last day for me to close my case; my hands are tied and I have no choice than to close my case.”

When asked of his next line of action, Amujiogo told journalists that, “It is now left for the tribunal in the course of this matter to know the next step that they will undertake as regards his refusal or inability to appear today before the tribunal; let us watch and see what the battle will be like, between the tribunal and the governor.

“It has two legs- the tribunal can exercise its power of sanctions against the person who refuses his order; you also know that judgement is always at hand; it is the last option. The ball is on the court of the Tribunal to do things one way or the other.”

However, the lead counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Anthony Ani (SAN), told journalists after the tribunal sitting that the petitioner did not comply with the provisions of the law while serving the subpoena.

Meanwhile, the tribunal led by Justice K. M. Akano adjourned the case to June 24, 2023, for the 1st Respondent (the Independent National Electoral Commission) to open its defence.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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