Monday, November 26, 2018 12:36 pm
The Plateau chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has protested against the constitution of “only one” panel to hear the 77 petitions arising from the Oct. 10 local government elections.
The party’s protest is contained in a petition to the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Gyang.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Justice Gyang had inaugurated the Local Government Elections Petitions Tribunal on Nov. 23, 2018.
The tribunal, which is expected to begin sitting on Monday, Nov. 26, will adjudicate over eight petitions filed by chairmanship candidates, while 69 petitioners contested councillorship seats.
All the petitions were filed by PDP candidates that lost the elections to the APC.
The PDP, in the petition signed by its Deputy Chairman, Amos Gombi, expressed fear that the petitioners might not get justice because one panel could not handle the 77 cases within the remaining 47 days it was allowed to sit.
“The period allowed for the petitions to be heard is 90 days. Already, more than 40 days have gone.
“By law, the tribunal has 47 days within which to hear and determine the cases, as at today (Nov. 26).
“Clearly, one panel cannot do this effectively,’’ it said.
The PDP urged the Chief Judge to constitute two additional panels “for the effectual disposition of these petitions otherwise time may lapse for some of them and justice will not be done to the petitioners’’.
The party observed that the state had never recorded such a huge number of election petitions, “even before Nasarawa was created out of the old Plateau’’.
“Even when the number of petitions were less, and there was even more time, many panels were created for effective and expeditious determination of those petitions.
“The minimum addition should be two panels in the interest of justice,’’ the PDP stated.
APC swept the elections in the 13 local governments they were held.
Governor Simon Lalong had exempted four local governments – Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi – citing security reasons.
The elections witnessed protests that turned violent, leading to the dead of some youths in some local governments.