By: Valentine Adese (JP),
The Petition EPT/PL/NA/HR/05/19, filed by Hon. Jonathan Dabo, challenging the victory of Maitala Haruna, in the just concluded general elections for the seat of Jos-North/Bassa Federal Constituency has been adjourned to the 23rd of May, 2019, for continuation of Pre-hearing on the Applications and Motions filed in the matter.
Although the petition was slated for hearing today for the hearing of the Applications and Motions filed, most could not be heard on the grounds that they were not ripe for hearing, as most replies have not been filed and served on parties.
However, during the hearing today, the Counsel to Hon. Jonathan Dabo, S. G. Odey (Esq), had urged the Tribunal to strike out the reply of INEC being the 1st Respondent in the petition.
Odey said, “This petition No.5 is slated for hearing of pending Applications as indicated and ordered. We have filed a Motion on Notice dated 8th May, 2019, urging the Tribunal to strike out the 1st Respondents reply on grounds contained on the face of the Motion paper. The Motion is supported by a five (5) paragraph Affidavit to which is attached an Exhibit1. The exhibit is the reply itself, out of abundance of caution. Also in support is a written address. We rely on all the paragraphs of the Affidavit and also adopt our written address.”
Adding that, “the 1st Respondent in reaction to the Motion filed only a written address without an Affidavit on points of Law. On our right to reply, we filed a reply on points of Law to the 1st Respondent’s reply. We adopt this application on points of Law.
“The issues we raised have not been addressed and should be discountenanced and the Motion granted as prayed.”
INEC Counsel, on his part while reacting, urged the Tribunal to strike out the reply of Hon. Dabo, to his reply, as it is grossly incompetent.
Adding that, “the petitioners raised fresh issues on what the 1st Respondent has raised in the written address.”
Other applications to be taken on the 23rd are also expected to come from the 1st Respondent and the 2nd Respondent’s Counsel, S.S. Obende (Esq).
The Tribunal has however, directed all parties in the petition to file all necessary Applications, Motions and the issues for determination, before the next hearing date.