The Ebonyi State governorship, national/state Assembly election petition tribunal, sitting in Abakaliki, on Monday, commenced its inaugural sitting, having received 13 petitions from petitioners.

However, there was tight security within the venue of the tribunal located within the premises of High Court, Ogoja road, by a detachment of officers of the Nigeria Police command.

The situation halted human and vehicular movements along the adjoining roads to the state.

Security personnel made up of police and Civil Defence barricaded the major roads leading to the tribunal which caused tension in the state, with motorists and passers-by diverted to alternative roads to continue their movements.

State Anti-Bomb squad of the Nigeria Police were stationed at the two entrance gates to the tribunal with some policemen, men of the DSS and Civil Defence, stationed inside the premises of the high court where the tribunal sat.

Earlier in his inaugural address, the chairman of Ebonyi State national and State Assembly Election petition tribunal Justice J K Agya, warned petitioners   against frivolous application.

He said the tribunal will not condone any action intended to frustrate the quick determination of a petition brought before the tribunal.

Justice Agya explained that by the provision of section 285 of the 1999 Constitution as amended by the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria (Second Alteration) Act 2010 (supra) an Election Tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from date of the filing of the petition, a situation he noted was going to leave the tribunal without the luxury of time.

He opined, “The tribunal will therefore not allow any party to resort to any sort of subterfuge by way of unnecessary applications for adjournment or resort to technicalities.”

The chairman, therefore, solicited the cooperation of counsel appearing before the tribunal, as a minister in the temple of justice, to ensure that at the end of the exercise, justice would not only be done, but seen to be done.


Culled from Tribuneonlineng