Bayelsa Tribunal Fixes April 11 To Decide On Inspection of Election Materials

 Election MaterialsJustice Kazeem Alogba has fixed April 11 for ruling on whether the APC candidate in the Bayelsa governorship election, Timipre Sylva, can inspect the materials used for the polls.

The Balyesa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday heard an application filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, to inspect election materials used for the December 5, 2015 and January 9, 2016 governorship election.

Counsel to Mr Timipre Sylva, Sebastian Hon, had moved the motion hinged on seven grounds.

He urged the Tribunal to grant the request, since INEC, which conducted the election and in possession of the items sought to be inspected, is not opposing the application.

According to him, in law, the facts deposed to in an affidavit and not challenged by way of counter affidavit are deemed admitted by the force of law.

He argued that it was wrong of Governor Seriake Dickson to claim that Mr Sylva’s claim was vague when the documents sought to be inspected were well pleaded in the petition and in line with section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010.

Opposing the application, lawyer to Governor Dickson, Tayo Oyetibo, urged the Tribunal to reject the application on the ground that it lacked merit.

Oyetibo insisted that the request of the petitioner was vague because it failed to name the maker of the items sought to be inspected

He also argued that the petitioner failed to give reasons he wanted to inspect the election materials, adding that the motion violates Section 104 of the Evidence Act because the mandatory fee for certification of the materials has not been paid by the petitioner.

Among the materials sought to be inspected are the ballot papers, Form C4 and duplicate copy of the Certificate of Return issued to Governor Seriake Dickson.

Lawyer Faults Impeachment Of Kogi Assembly Speaker

Sebastian Hon-SpeakerA Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) Sebastian Hon, has described the impeachment procedure of the Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly as a flagrant breach of the Constitution of Nigeria.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the lawyer revealed that the number of lawmakers that sat to pass the revolution is less than two-third of all the members of the house.

“Even if they claim that more than one-third are firing a notice of allegation, the number that sat to pass the revolution is less than two-third of the legality of all the members of the House of Assembly in accordance with section 188 sub-section 4 of the constitution,” he said.

Mr Hon emphasised that “the number to look at is the totality of the membership of the House of Assembly and not the number sitting at a particular time.”

The Senior Advocate faulted the Nigerian judicial system saying there is a lacuna in the law.

He pointed out that when there is an intervention from the judiciary in such a case, the status quo has to be maintained, which is the status quo ante bellum (the state existing before the war), allowing the former Speaker to continue speaking until the judiciary determines the issue.

Five lawmakers in a 20-member House sat on Tuesday and purportedly impeached the Speaker, Honourable Momoh Jimoh.

The lawmakers also chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker of the House.