Akwa Ibom guber: Tribunal cautions APC candidate against undue delay

The governorship election tribunal sitting in Uyo, Friday, June 14, frowned at the application by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Nsima Ekere seeking for more time to respond to applications made by respondents in the governorship elections petition pre-trials hearings.

The court emphasized that time is of the essence in an election petition case and therefore charged all parties to strive to abide by the timelines as indicated by the electoral act or as directed by the tribunal.

The court had adjourned the matter to to hear all applications in the suit and the completion of pre-trial.

But counsel to the petitioner, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN at the session at the Magistrate Court Complex in Uyo, prayed the court for an extension of the pre-trial period to enable them prepare their responses to the applications as filed by the respondents.

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The counsel to the respondents, Chief Assam Assam, SAN for the 1st respondent, Uko Udom, SAN for the 2nd respondent and Offiong Offiong, SAN for the 3rd respondent were unanimous in their position that they would not oppose the application of the petitioner, except that he cannot predicate his prayers on unsubstantiated allegations against respondents.

The counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd had all filed their applications for hearing today but the petitioner failed to respond to most of the applications, hence the application for the extension of time.

The court yielded to the prayers of the petitioner and extended the pre-trial period to June 21, 2019 for completion of pre-trial hearings.

Meanwhile, former Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, has told the election petition tribunal sitting in Calabar, Cross River state, that INEC removed his name from the list of candidates for the February 23, 2019 National Assembly elections.

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The former chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission equally told the tribunal that his name was also removed from INEC’s result sheet.

Ndoma-Egba made the allegation while being cross-examined by counsel to the defendants Dr. Sandy Onor, Mr. Patrick Akan, Peoples Democratic Party’s Joe Agi (SAN) and INEC’s Professor Jacob Dada.

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