The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and its candidate, Mr Dubem Obaze, had filed a petition challenging Oduah’s victory in the March 28 poll conducted for Anambra North Senatorial district.
The tribunal, led by Justice H.O. Solanke, adjourned the matter after it ruled against hearing of motions which sought to strike out the petition at the preliminary stage.
It held that the motions to strike out the petition would be heard during the hearing of the substantive suit and judgment given together at the end of the trial.
“All motions seeking to strike out the petitions shall be subsumed in the final addresses of parties to save the time of the tribunal,” Solanke explained in his ruling.
The separate motions were filed by the counsel to the respondents namely Mr Alex Izinyon (SAN) for Oduah, Mr Jude Nnodum (SAN) for INEC and Mr Chuma Oguejiofor for PDP.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Izinyon, had after the ruling, urged the court to revisit the motions in the interest of justice and fair hearing which the tribunal declined.
The tribunal, however, granted the application of Counsel to the petitioner, Mr Chito Onyemenam (SAN), which prayed for the withdrawal of certain paragraphs of the petition.
The motion by the petitioner’s counsel for the withdrawal of the paragraphs dealing on INEC documents, was not objected to by the respondents’ counsel.
Obaze and his party are challenging Oduah’s victory on grounds that the election conducted in Ogbaru, Ontisha North and Onitsha South was fraught with electoral malpractices.
The petition also seeks to disqualify Oduah on grounds that she was not duly nominated by her party, the PDP.