Chairman Cross River State Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Vincent Agbata Monday assured crossriverians of the tribunal readiness to dispense justice without any fear or favour.
Agbata gave the assurance at the inaugural sitting of a three-man tribunal sitting on Monday at the Cross River State High Court, Mary Slessor Avenue Calabar.
The election tribunal Chairman while trying to build the faith and confidence of the people with regards to dispensing of justice said, “We are here to serve you, to serve the public. We are here to work, to render service. It is not an easy job. At the same time, it is equally as easy as it is. A lot depends on you if it will be easy or difficult,” he told counsel to parties that filed petitions before the tribunal.
He warned that he had not appointed anyone as his agent or representative in the course of performing his task.
In his words Agbata said“I have not appointed anybody as my agent. Please take note of that. I have not appointed anybody as my representative, neither have other members of this tribunal. We will maintain an open door policy. We are approachable. Every application must be done while the tribunal is sitting, not outside.
“In the course of this duty, we remain learned friends and at the end of the day, we expect you to assist us to achieve the desired result,” he told the counsel.
In his remarks, the Cross River state Attorney-General AG/ Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Joe Abang, stated,“As a result of the perceived wrongs perpetrated during elections, it was necessary to set up an efficient and reliable system to address election related disputes. Consequently, election tribunals were established to address seemingly perceived grievances arising from our chequered electoral process.
Abang said “Election disputes are highly sensitive, contentious and controversial, so much so that the process of disposing them seems to put the judiciary itself on trial. I therefore urge you to abide by the oath of office you took and courageously and honestly discharge your duty without fear or favour.”
Also speaking at the inaugural sitting, a Chairman for the state branch of Nigerian Bar Association NBA, Emmanuel Idaka who was being represented at the sitting by Daniel Edet, charged members of the tribunal not to forget that they are under aoth to discharge their duties and advised the members to be fair, and honest in the course of discharging their duties.
In his remarks the NBA chair said, “you took an oath of office to work without fear or favour. Dispense justice according to the law. Justice must be seen to have been done by the common man.”
Other individuals who are members of the tribunal include Justices Ishaku Kunda and Abubakar Bello.
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