The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has approved the relocation of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.
The Secretary to the Tribunal, Mr. David Umar Mike, who confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday in Lokoja, said that the court sittings would now be at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) on Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway in Abuja.
He urged all litigants to take note of the change of venue.
The Tribunal secretary was, however, silent on the reason behind the relocation, but a top source at the Tribunal said the step was necessitated by “security reasons.”
The source added that staff of the Tribunal had been attacked on several occasions in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
“Just last Monday, Tribunal officials were attacked on the way to the office.
“Armed men just pounced on the officials. They robbed them of everything. They took away all the documents that were in the car.
“Copies of petitions and personal belongings, official receipts, processes like subpoena, official stamps, were all stolen.
“Generally, thugs are frustrating the job and the lives of our officials are at stake, making it difficult to work there,” the source said.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, as the winner of the November 11 governorshipmelection ahead of his Social Democratic Party (SDP) challenger, Murtala Ajaka.
Ajaka is, however, challenging the outcome of the election over alleged fraud in the exercise.