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Edo Tribunal Cautions Lawyers Against Delayed Proceedings

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Chairman of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice O. Ogundana has warned lawyers against indulging in acts that would cause delay in the tribunal’s proceedings.

Justice Ogundana said the tribunal is committed to finishing its task within the stipulated time spelt out by the Electoral Act.

He spoke on Monday in Benin City at the inaugural sitting of the tribunal.

Justice Ogundana disclosed that 14 petitions arising from the conduct of the National and State House of Assembly elections were filed before the tribunal.

Ogundana gave a break down of the petitions to include seven for the State House of Assembly, five for House of Representatives and two senatorial.

He urged the lawyers to cooperate with the tribunal for it to carry out its task.

According to him, “What is before us is important. The task is enormous. Assist us to dispense justice.

“We seek your cooperation to enable us carry out this onerous task before us. We shall not condone any act that will hinder proceedings. We are committed to seeing that we complete our task in record time.”

The tribunal also began pre-trial hearing in the petition filed by Barr. Omosede Igbinedion of the Peoples Democratic Party against the election of Mr. Dennis Idahosa of the All Progressives Congress.

It refused prayers of the petitioners Counsel, Kingsley Obamogie, to order the Independent National Electoral Commission to release records of persons that collected Permanent Voter Cards in all the Wards and Units of Ovia Federal Constituency.

Obamogie had also sought relief of the tribunal for INEC to release Card Reader’s print out of the number of accredited voters in all the units and wards of Ovia Federal Constituency.

But Justice Ogundana ordered INEC to grant joint access for parties in the suit to inspect voter register in all units and wards of the constituency.

He said the commission should release card reader information uploaded to its server as well as release Certify True Copies of all documents relating to the conduct of the election.

Meanwhile, the Ikpoba-Okha Youth Vanguard has urged the Edo Tribunal to dispense justice for the interest of the state.

Spokesman for the group, Comrade Jude Obvokhan, who spoke after the tribunal’s sitting said the group was aware that candidate of the PDP for Ikpoba-Okha/Egor Federal Constituency, Hon Jude Ise-Idehen filed his reply to Hon Johnson Agbonyinma petition out of time.

But Hon Idehen in a phone chat urged them to wait for the tribunal’s decision.

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