Transparency and Integrity


BAYELSA: PDP Faithfuls In Ogbia Caution Against Alleged Delay Tactics By Tribunal Panel


PDP Members In Ogbia 2 State Constituency Cry Out To President of The Appeal Court. 

.....Allege Tribunal Panel Delaying Fraustrating Court Proceedings.

Members of the PDP who identified as supporters of the party's candidate for Ogbia 2 State constituency elections Hon. Munalayefa Edwin Gibson, have 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.

According to Chief Maxwell Odiba, who spoke to newsmen on behalf of the group, he made the call after the three-member tribunal panel comprising of ; Hon. Justice Oluwatonyin Mojisola Fadeyi from Oyo State Ibadan as Chairperson, Hon. Justice Olayinka David Afolabi member 1 from Osun State and Hon. Justice Michael Onochie member 2 from Anambra State unconditionally and repeatedly adjourned the case severally without any cogent reason. Odiba registered concerns on the exigency of time and also lamented that Petitioners were forced to call only 4 witnesses in one day to cover 25 polling units, which he described as 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 Oluwatonyin 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 dismissed our petition for applying for multiple issuance of pre-hearing notice even as the last applications was ok by law and having been overtaken by event, claiming that our applications were premature. This was done without any objections or fillings from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents.

Speaking further he said, 

" 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 Port-harcourt. 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", he said. 

Other supporters lamented that the case has been plagued by 'one delay tactics or the other' since the case started at the tribunal after the filling of petition. They further emphatically stressed that the adjournments did not come from the respondents but the Judges themselves against the will of the litigants which according to them, they found strange that the judges would call for adjournment on a case that is 'time-bound' with both parties being 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. There has been no progress because our case is adjourned daily without given consideration to the fact that we pay dues without. 

"Most worisome was the last adjournment which was on Friday 29th September, 2023 when all parties agreed that we would 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.”

They furthered appealed to the President of the Court of Appeal to prevail on the three-member panel to allow the court proceedings to go ahead without further  hindrance or deliberate attempts to  frustrate efforts and allow Justice prevail. 

"We want to be allowed to prove our 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”

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