…. says Tribunal panel fraustrating delaying court proceedings
The supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate Honourable Munalayefa Edwin Gibson, for the Ogbia 2 state constituency elections for has called on the President of the Appeal Court, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem to prevail on the three-member tribunal panel headed by Hon. Justice Oluwatoyin Mojisola Fadeyi in the National/State Houses Of Assembly Elections Tribunal Holden at Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
Honourable Munalayefa Edwin Gibson and Peoples Democratic Party PDP; the 1st and 2nd petitioners respectively filed a petition (with Petition NO: EPT/BY/SHA/22/2023) challenging the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of All Progressive Congress and her candidate Mr Godknows Obein as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively for the ogbia 2 state constituency supplementary elections held on the 15th of April, 2023.
Chief Maxwell Odiba who made the call after the three-member tribunal panel namely:
HON. JUSTICE OLUWATONYIN MOJISOLA FADEYI (female) from Oyo State Ibadan as Chairman,
HON. JUSTICE OLAYINKA DAVID AFOLABI (male) member 1 from Osun State and
HON. JUSTICE MICHAEL ONOCHIE (male) member 2 from Anambra State unconditionally and repeatedly adjourned our case severally without any cogent reason knowing fully well of the exigency of time which they also complained but forcing the Petitioners to call just 4 witnesses in one day to cover 25 polling units, a strategic way to fraustrate the petitions.
“We are hereby calling on the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, HON. JUSTICE MONICA BOLNA’AN DONGBAN-MENSEM (CFR) to use her good office to prevail on this three-member tribunal panel headed by HON. JUSTICE OLUWATOYIN MOJISOLA FADEYI to allow us present our case in due time without any back hand tactics or delay game as the tribunal is time-bound.”
It was when PW2 was in the witness box to testify when Hon. Justice O.M Fadeyi raise suo moto and tactically dismiss our petition for applying for multiple issuance of pre-hearing notice even as the last applications was ok by law and having been overtaking by event, claiming that our applications were premature. This was done without any objections or fillings from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents.
Then the PDP candidate of the Ogbia 2 state constituency in Bayesla State Appealed the ruling within two days on the 16th of August, 2023 at the Appeal Court in Portharcourt. The Appeal Court on the 15th of September, 2023 gave a judgement in our favour and returned the case back to the tribunal and ordered for an expeditious continuation of trial.
Ever since the case returned to trial Hon. Justice O.M Fadeyi has adjourned the case severally without any substantial reason.
The PDP supporters said it has been one delay tactics or the other since the case started at the tribunal after the filling of our petition. They emphasized that these adjournments did not come from the respondents but the Judges themselves against the will of the litigants.
PDP supporters noted that it is strange that the judges will be the ones calling for adjournment on a case that is time-bound and both parties are fully prepared to see through the proceedings.
“Since Appeal Court set aside Hon Justice M O Fadeyi pre-trial ruling, we returned back to the tribunal but our case is adjourned daily not considering we pay dues without progress, the most worisome is the last adjourn date on Friday 29th September, 2023 as it was agreed by all parties to have our expert witness due to exigency of time but to our greatest surprise, Hon. Justice O.M Fadeyi surprisingly adjourned our case again till Thursday 5th October, 2023 without any reason as all parties were present in court and ready to go ahead with proceedings when no reason for such.”
The PDP Supporters said they are appealing to the President of the Court of Appeal to prevail on this three-member panel to allow the court proceedings to go ahead without any hinderance and fraustration and allow Justice prevail.
“We want to be allowed to prove out petition at the tribunal and call our witnesses within the stipulated time allowed by the constitution for this trial. We hope that the tribunal panel will not technically delay the proceedings and give room for our legal team to extensively prove our petition”
PDP supporters made this passionate appeal to the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Hon Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem while addressing newsmen in Yenegoa on Friday 29th September, 2023 of their bitter experiences over this Hon. Justices
Chief Maxwell Odiba
Spokesperson PDP Supporters Ogbia LGA