Ebonyi state election petition tribunal has warned parties involved in the petitions challenging the national and state assembly elections in the state to avoid frivolous applications.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice J. F. Agya who gave the warning during the inaugural sitting in Abakaliki noted that the tribunal would not entertain any frivolous applications or condone any action intended to frustrate the quick determination of a petition.
Twelve petitions have been filed in the registry of the tribunal with nine of the petitions challenging the National Assembly while the remaining three are challenging the state House of Assembly elections, according to the chairman.
Justice Agya further explained that by the provision of section 285 of the 1999 Constitution as amended by the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria (Second Alteration) Act 2010 (supra) an Election Tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from date of the filing of the petition, a situation he noted was going to leave the tribunal without the luxury of time.
“The tribunal will therefore not allow any party to resort to any sort of subterfuge by way of unnecessary applications for adjournment or resort to technicalities”.
The chairman therefore solicited the cooperation of Counsel appearing before the tribunal, as a minister in the temple of justice, to ensure that at the end of the exercise justice would not only be done but seen to be done.
He promised that the tribunal would abide by the oath they swore and to dispense justice regardless of the position, status or standing of the parties appearing before it.
According to him, “our decisions on any of the petitions will therefore be based on the pleadings (petitions and reply), evidence (physical, documentary and oral) and the persuasive arguments of the counsel; no more, no less. Any attempt, therefore to influence the decision of the tribunal one way or the other will not only be frowned at, it will definitely attract serious sanctions.
He also appealed to journalists to be fair and objective in reporting the proceedings of the tribunal.

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