The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has dismissed an application by the Labour Party candidate, Mr Chijioke Edoga, seeking to interrogate, Gov. Peter Mbah on his credentials.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice M. K Akano, had on Thursday reserved ruling after the counsels to the parties argued for and against the granting of the application.
Delivering ruling in the application, on Saturday, the Chairman held that the application was on a “fishing expedition”.
Adopting the argument of the counsel to the People Democratic Party, Tochukwu Maduka, Akano said that the questions the petitioners were asking were not contained in their petition.
The chairman also adopted the argument made by Mr Ikechukwu Onuoma, counsel to Gov. Mbah, that the application was an attempt for the petitioners to amend their petition based on paragraph 14(1) of the first schedule of the electoral Act.
She said that the essence of interrogatories was to get admission from parties on the matter that had been pleaded to, adding that the petitioner had not pleaded to the matter.
Meanwhile, the report of the tribunal on the pre hearing session was delivered alongside the ruling. The tribunal outlined the issues raised by both parties.
In the tribunal resolution, the Chairman granted the petitioner seven days to prove their case while INEC was granted two days to call its witnesses.
Also, the second and third respondents were granted four days to also call their witnesses
On the sideline, the counsel to the LP, Mr Ifeanyi Ogenyi, told newsmen that the rulling was in respect of the application for interrogatories by the petitioner.
The petitioner was seeking for answers to Mbah’s appointments as Chief of Staff, commissioner for finance, when he was called to the Nigeria Bar and institutions he attended.
“Based on Mbah’s reply to the petition, the court in its considered ruling said that those questions could be elicited during cross examination or through the petitioner during evidence,” he said.