By: Abdullahi Faruk Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State election Petition tribunal sitting in Birnin Kebbi on Friday expressed worries on the reports it received by counsels to Senator Bala Ibn NA’Allah as petitioner Barrister Adamu A. Umar on INEC as first respondant for not releasing some of the documents requested by the petitioners as pleaded at the pre-hearing session to formed part of evidence in proving the petition.
This was disclosed by the tribunal chairman Honourable Justice Margret Opara on Friday while on the commencement of full hearing on the merit of the petition with suit marked number EFT/KB/ SEN/ 01/2023, having fulling prepared to commences witness taking then counsel to Sen. Na’Allah raises concerns over non released of some documents by the said INEC that his number one witness can’t able to give his testimony due to non released of the document.
The tribunal noted that ” in all the Petitions before us there was reports of non released of documents pleaded by respondants and even to the petitioners by INEC while stressing the need for INEC to comply with the earlier agreement before the declaration of pre-hearing session closed. Adding that” we are not send to kebbi for play, but we are here to deliver justice to all the parties, She said”.
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” The way the hearing of petition is going we are not quiet impressive with it, it should be changed or we will slash the sum of two hundred thousand Naira(N200,000) in default of calling agreed witnesses or availability of documents already pleaded to any of the party. Right from when all the petitions kick up for pre-hearing to commencement of hearing of the merit of all Petitions is not encouraging at all, tribunal lamented”.
” We will not allows any of the party to stamped us, so we most speed up in hearing and determining all petitions filed before us as prescribed by law, so all parties in this matter and other matters most rise to do what’s required, tribunal chairman Honourable Justice Margret Opara warnned”. She further reiterated that tribunal most hear all Petitions before us and deliver our judgement within time prescribed by law.
She than remins all parties on the earlier guildline agreed upon that all parties calling witnesses most file their schedule of witnesses 24hours before sitting commenced so that it will enable parties to have knowledge of the witness caming to give testimony and to avoid any objections or observation to both parties during the sitting. She advised”.
Counsel to first respondant INEC, Barrister Mustapha I Abubakar SAN, explained to the tribunal that” we’re still sorting out the said documents to ensure that all parties have access to the requested documents and he assured tribunal that the said documents will be made available to all the concerns parties. He assured.
He however apologized for any inconveniences this might cause and then ask for a short adjournment to Saturday 20th May for continuation for hearing.
Thereafter, by the agreement of both counsel’s tribunal adjourned the matter to the said 20th May for continuation for hearing.