Ekere Vs Emmanuel:
Nsima Ekere Stormed Tribunal Inaugural Sitting To Pursue His Stolen Mandate.
The Governorship Petition Tribunal for Akwa Ibom State held its inaugural sitting on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in Uyo, on the petition Filed by
Obong Nsima (APC Governorship Candidate) and the All Progressives Congress, APC Akwa Ibom State against Mr. Udom Emmanuel, ( PDP Governorship Candidate ), the Peoples Democratic Party, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini and the Returning Officer.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice A. M. Yakubu, is leading a three-man panel to hear the APC and its candidate’s petition.
The pre-hearing session which held its Inaugural Sitting, had Obong Nsima Ekere physically present to witness the proceedings.
The pre-hearing as contained in the Electoral Act, provides for a time span of 14 days.
Also, from the date of filing of the petition, the tribunal has 180 day-period to hear the petitioners and deliver judgement.
In his opening speech, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Yakubu welcomed all parties to the inaugural sitting, as he sought their cooperation in order to help the panel arrive at its judgement within the stipulated time frame.
He said: “We do not have the luxury of time and ask counsels on both sides to cooperate with the tribunal and do the needful within the statutory provision of the Act. He also advised counsels to desist from the practice of employing undue technicalities or any act capable of causing unnecessary delay in the dispensation of the petition filed.”
Justice Yakubu maintained that all parties would be accorded equal treatment by the tribunal which “at the end of hearing the petition, justice will not only be done; it must also be seen to be done.”stressed that they were sent to do justice and not just to do the justice but to be seen to have been adequately done, as such, the tribunal will not tolerate any overture or attempt at gesture that will undermine this expectation and throw their hard-earned integrities to odium or contempt. He promised to be fair and just to all parties in discharging his responsibilities without fear or favour, but warned parties that justice must be dispensed with within six months from the date the petition was filed at the tribunal.
The tribunal Chairman thanked the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Good People of the State for the peace, security and warm welcome they have so far enjoyed in the state.
In his welcome speech, on behalf of the state government, the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice thanked the tribunal members for accepting to serve in the state and assured them of safety and security
The Chairperson of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Enobong Akpan (Mrs.), while giving her welcome remarks, maintained that “the NBA will cooperate with members of the tribunal to ensure that justice is actually carried out.”
Similarly, the lead counsel to the petitioner, J. S. Otukpeta SAN, said that he believes that the tribunal as “constituted and established by the Nigerian Constitution is the hope of not only the common man, but the politicians who have been denied the opportunity of being elected through a free and fair process.”
Counsels to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents ( Gov. Udom Emmanuel, PDP, INEC and the REC) individually expressed their readiness and confidence in the tribunal.
All the parties enlisted all members of their legal teams to the tribunal and each legal team is led by SAN, the APC legal team is mad up of 15 prominent lawyers in number.
Finally, ruling on the motion was fixed for Thursday, May 30, 2019.