The chairman of Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Justice Goddy Anunihu has appealed to lawyers to counsel their clients against any untoward behavior throughout the period the tribunal will sit.
Anunihu who made this appeal during the inaugural sitting of the tribunal in Uyo warned that the Tribunal would deal with politicians who would want to frustrate their work adding that they would resist any attempt to slow down their proceedings.
“We are aware of the enormity of the job before us. We know the main parties before us are politicians who may want to carry over the nuances associated with politics to this place. We shall appeal to counsel whose duty it is to direct and counsel their clients to assist us in the works of this tribunal,” the chairman said.
With two cases brought before it by the All Progressives Congress and Labour Party governorship candidates Umana Okon Umana and Senator Helen Esuene respectively for the April 11th elections, the tribunal chairman assured the parties concerned that their cases would be determined judicially and judiciously.
He warned that the tribunal would not entertain frivolous applications that may delay or derail their proceedings.
“We are all aware that the petitions before us are billed to be heard and determined within a period of 180 days from the date of filing. Some weeks of the said 180 days are already off. We should therefore all be ready for serious work immediately the petitions become ripe for hearing on fulfillment of the preliminary requirements of the law,” he added.
He however assured the petitioners of the tribunal’s willingness to discharge its assigned duties effectively and called on the media to cooperate with the tribunal by ensure that fair and accurate reportage remained their watchword.
“There should be not undue sensationalization of the affairs of this tribunal,” he warned.
He also advised political parties, its supporters and others to exhibit the highest degree of discipline as the tribunal would not fail in its duties in invoking the necessary powers to punish any wrongful act.
Speaking on behalf of the Bar, Paul Usoro, (SAN) promised the tribunal of his colleagues’ maximum cooperation throughout the period they would sit in the state.
Other members of the tribunal include Justices Raphael Aguwa and J Olowosegun.

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