- As Court Reserves Date For Judgement
From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Sen. Abba Moro and former Deputy Governor of Benue State yesterday adopted their written addresses it the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State capital
This is just as the tribunal has reserved date for judgement in the petition which was filed by the erstwhile Deputy Governor seeking to cancel the election of Sen. Moro as senator representing Benue South Senatorial District on grounds of irregularities
While adopting his written address, counsel to Senator Patrick Abba Moro of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP Barr. Kenneth Ikonne urged the tribunal headed by Justice A A Adeleye, to dismiss the petition by Lawani for been filed outside the pre-hearing period.
Ikonne noted that the application for pre-hearing was filed on May 3, nine days after the close of pleadings.
He reminded the tribunal of its promise to rule on the matter during final judgment, maintaining that the pre-hearing notice was issued contrary to the provisions of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
While explaining that the petition would have been thrown out if judgment was given during pre-trial, he noted that it would have made the judges’ job easier.
Ikonne said the petitioner’s reliefs contained five(5) declarations which makes him to rely on the strength of his case and not on the weakness of the respondents and insisted that the petitioner must satisfy the court in that regard.
He also,maintained that the petitioner alleged that there were irregularities in about 1,227 polling units but failed to call polling unit agents or ward collation agent as witness but only called nine local government collation agents who testified as witnesses.
On his part, counsel to Chief Lawani Barr. Okpale, said that in the voters registers tendered for over 200 polling units, the tribunal would see that. many names were not ticked and asked it to give judgment in favour of his client.
The tribunal judge stated that it would communicate the date of judgment to the counsels in due course.