Fresh Application Stalls Judgement At C’River Tribunal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fresh Application Stalls Judgement At C’River Tribunal

Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 12:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Nsa Gill



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

The matter was the case with Ref. N0: EPT/CR/NA/6/15 between Sanislous Tawo of Labour Party (LP) versus Christopher Akigbe of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others. It was among the five cases listed for the day but a fresh application brought before the tribunal by the led counsel to the respondents, Paul Erokoro SAN challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal as constituted to listen to the case.

The same application was also taken for other four cases listed in the day. Other cases were rather slated for adoption of written addresses and proceedings in all the five cases were stalled as the three man tribunal led by Justice Christopher Awubra as chairman adjourned the matter to the next day being October 6, for hearing.

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

According to him the issue of jurisdiction is a constitutional matter and must be determined before further steps are taken.

“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”Counsels to other respondents including PDP and INEC also aligned themselves 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.