Akwa Ibom Gubernatorial Tribunal warns Nsima Ekere, others against delay
It particularly frowned at an application by the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Nsima Ekere seeking for more time to respond to applications made by respondents in the governorship elections petition pre-trial hearings.
The court emphasized that time is of the essence in an election petition case and therefore charged all parties to strive to abide by the timelines as indicated by the Electoral Act or as directed by the Tribunal.
The court had adjourned the matter to June 14, 2019 to hear all applications in the suit and the completion of pre-trial.
But counsel to the Petitioner, Jibrin Okutepa SAN, at the session at the Magistrate Court Complex in Uyo, prayed the court for an extension of the pre-trial period to enable them prepare their responses to the applications as filed by the Respondents.
The counsel to the Respondents, Chief Assam Assam, SAN for the 1st Respondent, Uko Udom, SAN for the 2nd Respondent and Offiong Offiong, SAN for the 3rd Respondent were unanimous in their position that they would not oppose the application of the Petitioner, except that he cannot predicate his prayers on unsubstantiated allegations against Respondents.
The counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents had all filed their applications for hearing on Friday, but the Petitioner failed to respond to most of the Applications, hence the application for the extension of time.
The court yielded to the prayers of the Petitioner and extended the pre-trial period to June 21, 2019 for completion of pre-trial hearings.