Thirty-one petitions have been filed before the Bayelsa election petition tribunal, which began sitting in Yenagoa on Thursday.
The tribunal’s chairman, Justice O.M. Fagbemi, warned litigants and counsels to avoid seeking unnecessary adjournments through frivolous applications and preliminary objections that could waste the court’s time.
According to him, such tendencies usually pervert the course of justice.
Ms Fagbemi, in the inaugural address to formally begin the tribunal proceedings, reminded litigants that the tribunal was time-bound, hence the need for all to cooperate to ensure speedy justice.
“Election petitions are time-bound and, by their nature, peculiar from other proceedings. We undertake to abide by our oath of office and mandate in dispensing justice with the help of God Almighty,” stated the judge. “We seize this opportunity to admonish counsels and litigants to desist from seeking unnecessary incessant adjournments and filing of frivolous applications.”
Ms Fagbemi added, “Preliminary objections, which are time-wasting, purely an academic exercise, an exercise in futility aimed at perverting the course of justice, should be avoided.”
The tribunal’s secretary, Abba Dahiru, in a chat with journalists after the sitting, said the tribunal received 31 petitions, out of which 22 were for the state house of assembly elections.
He revealed that nine petitions were for the national assembly elections, adding that one had been withdrawn.