Fresh Application Stalls Cross River Tribunal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fresh Application Stalls Cross River Tribunal

Posted: Oct 5, 2015 at 5:45 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Nsa Gill, Calabar


Judgment scheduled to be delivered in one of the cases handled by the National Assembly election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Cross River State was put on hold on Monday when the matter came up.

The matter was the case between Sanislous Tawo of the Labour Party versus Christopher Akigbe of the Peoples Democratic Party and others.

It was among the five cases listed for the day but a fresh application was brought before the tribunal by the lead counsel to the respondents, Paul Erokoro, SAN, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal as constituted to listen to the case.

The same application was taken for four other cases listed for the day. The cases were stalled as the three-man tribunal, led by Justice Christopher Awubra as chairman, adjourned the matter to the next day, October 6, for hearing.

In the application Erokoro argued that the issue of jurisdiction is a constitutional matter, which must be determined before further proceedings.

“There is need for the application to be determined. We object to the competence of the tribunal to hear all the matters at all. We object the hearing to be taken along with judgment and we would not yield to that at all,” he said.

Counsel to other respondents including PDP and INEC also aligned with the submission of Erokoro and supported the application. They argued that failure to accept the application would amount to a breach of constitutional provisions.

But Counsel to one of the Labour party candidates and the Petitioners, Mr. B. Olusegun opposed the application, saying it is an arrest of judgment given the limited time the tribunal has to deliver judgment on the cases still pending. He also noted that he has just been served in court “fresh and intriguing application” and will need time to respond accordingly.