Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, is to reconvene on Friday, 31 May, for continuation of pre-hearing.
Previously, on 12 April 12, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Emmauel Jime filed a petition before the Tribunal challenging the return of Governor Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the 2019 Benue Governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The petitioner Jime also joined INEC (1st Respondent) and the PDP (3rd respondent) in the legal suit.
In his opening remarks at the sitting, Chairman of the panel Justice Adebola Olusiyi told counsel and parties that effective 12 April, when the petition was filed, there are 180 days within which it will be heard and determined.
“There must be no waste of time whatsoever with frivolities. There should be no place whatsoever for grandstanding or playing to the gallery. We should all hit the ground running and in an atmosphere of conviviality, without undue tension and pressure,’ said Justice Olusiyi,” the judge said.
“For us, our privileged mission on this national assignment is to do justice and nothing but justice without fear or favour, ill -will or affection. The wheel of justice in this tribunal will roll without let or hindrance, by the Grace of God.”
He called on all hands to be on deck to ensure that the petition is dispensed with within the stipulated 180 days, even as he solicited the cooperation and good understanding of all.
Adebayo O. Adelodun, SAN, who led a team of counsels in court for the 1st petitioner Jime on behalf of the Bar, thanked the chairman and members of the panel for their commitment to be impartial, just as he assured that as, officers of the court, they will offer their best cooperation to ease the work ahead.