The House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for Ibiono Ibom State Constituency and in the case of the candidate of APC, Mr. Owoedinyene Ekpenyong (the petitioner), against the candidate of PDP, Hon. Godwin Ekpo (The respondent), sat on 10th July, 2019.
On the resumed hearing of the application before the honourable Tribunal, Petitioner’s Counsel led by Barr. Emmanuel Akpan Esq, differs in the admissibility of exhibits cited a pending order that was served to 3rd respondent yet, INEC still refused to heed on the order to release the complete documents that was used during the State House of Assembly Election in Ibiono Ibom State Constituency.
In his words; “My Lord, we cannot tender uncompleted documents to the court and then start calling witnesses, if we do such, that will amount to tantamount and a total abuse of court process as well, since INEC refused to obey the order of the court and deny us important documents we requested on 9 March, 2019 State House of Assembly Elections, let the matter be adjourn pending on when we will be in position of those documents”
Counsel to the respondent led by G. A. Umoh Esq and Utibe Nwoko argued that, the petition be struck out for lacking in merit but the court refused the ground of technicalities and overrule the Counsel. Umoh requested that the petitioner’s counsel should call for witnesses for cross examination that they came loaded and ready to cross-examine the petitioner’s witnesses.
The Panel on her ruling, recalled that an order had been served to the 3rd respondent to give all the documents used for the State House of Assembly Election. She ordered that The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), should comply with court order and stop using technicalities to drag the process aback.
The Tribunal Adjourned the proceedings to Friday 12 July, 2019, for completion of hearing.
© Mattello Felix Jnr