By: Valentine Adese (JP),
The Plateau state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are back to the Tribunal, despite huge debts owed Counsels that represented the two political parties at the Tribunal since 2015 to date.
REALITY gathered that, the debts cover Counsel’s representation of the two political parties from elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the ones conducted by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC).
At the inaugural sitting of the Tribunal Panel constituted to hear the Petition filed by Rt. Hon. George Daika and the PDP, challenging the Plateau South Senatorial election that saw, Prof. Nora Dadu’ut as the winner, major counsels know for handling APC and PDP Tribunal cases were conspicuously absent.
In his remarks at the inaugural sitting today, the Chairman of the Panel, while welcoming parties to the Tribunal, drew their attention to the legislation which provides that, a petition is expected to be heard within 180 days and judgment delivered.
“There is no gainsaying that, election petitions are sui generis, delicate in nature and time bound. Our working tools are the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2021 (as amended); its Schedule, the Practice Direction and the Evidence Act, 2011 (as amended).
“It is therefore desirable that, Counsel will acquaint themselves with these pieces of Legislations to ensure smooth proceedings at the Tribunal.
“It is expected that, within 180 days from the date of filing of Petition, Judgment should be delivered. Counsel should bear it in mind that, distractions, delay conclusion of trial”. His Lordship, Hon. Justice D. H. Khobo, stated.
However the tribunal has adjoined its sitting to Friday, 19th February, 2021, in order to allow the Petitioners make some amendments, which have no direct effect on the main petition among other applications, since the Respondents never opposed, but gave consent.
Representing the Petitioners (Rt. Hon. Daika and the PDP) at the Tribunal is, Barr Chuma Chukudi, INEC (the 1st Respondent) is represented by Ibrahim K Bawa, Prof. Nora Dadu’ut (2nd Respondent) by P.A. Akubo (SAN) and the APC (3rd Respondent) by G.S. Pwul (SAN).