The ongoing proceedings between the candidate of APC in the just concluded governorship elections in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Dr. Nsima U. Ekere and Mr. Udom Emmanuel have continued to gather momentum.
On the resumed hearing on Wednesday, 4rd July sitting in High Court premises, Fulga street, Uyo; the counsel to the petitioner, led by J. S. Okutepa, SAN, prayed that the honourable tribunal grant an order for hearing of the application brought before her for amendment and inserting of omitted pages.
But in counter arguments by 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents on the prayers filed by the petitioner’s counsel, the counsel to the respondents, led by Dr. Onyechi, SAN, on the affidavit, prayed that the court should strike out the application for lacking in merit, citing an order of a Federal High Court ruling against the Federal Ministry of Environment and acknowledged that such application is unclean and it’s not familiar to the law.
In his response, Okutepa asked the Tribunal to discountenance such request by 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents because the law cited by the counsel do not give grounds to dismiss such a weighty application. He asked that the Tribunal should use its discretion to decide on the application and opined that the counter affidavits filed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents be rejected because it’s an attempt to mislead, beguile and malign the moral standard of the Law. He quoted that; “There is a difference between a “decision not to file” and “an omission to file”,
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice A. M. Yakubu, after two hours break reconvened for the ruling of the application.
He noted that “it is an acceptable principle of Law that reliance on technicality is ancient. Errors are bound to be made by parties during proceedings.” Also, the petitioner’s counsel should tender exhibits of INEC inspection and reports but refuses second limb of application granting additional Statement on Oath brought by The deputy governorship candidate Dr. Amadu Atai.
Certified true copies of INEC documents for Abak LGA which are being tendered by the petitioner’s counsel was mark as 1st exhibit.
The court adjourned to July 5, 2019, for continuation of hearing.
Mattello Felix Jnr