APC, Sylva, pass vote of no confidence on Bayelsa Guber election Tribunal, seek disbandment

The Chairman of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has adjourned the petition brought before it by the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Timiprye Sylva, indefinitely.

This is to await the decision of the Court of Appeal on the allegations of bias and denial of fair hearing raised by Sylva and the APC.

Sylva and the APC had passed a vote of no confidence on the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, calling for an outright disbandment and reconstitution.

In a petition to the President of the Court of Appeal, APC and Sylva accused the Tribunal of denying them their constitutional right to fair hearing as required by law.

Among others, APC and its governorship candidate claimed that they had lined up 234 witnesses, but were ordered that the 234 witnesses must be called within seven days.

The petitioners added that they agreed to call 25 witnesses daily, but the Tribunal allowed them to call only eight per day.

They claimed that the action of the Tribunal was a clear breach of the rights of the petitioners to fair hearing by preventing them from calling all their witnesses when the Tribunal still have three months to sit.

In addition, APC and Sylva alleged that in the records of proceedings they obtained, the Tribunal made several comments and observations in writing which pointed to the facts that the Tribunal had made up its mind to favour the respondents.

They claimed that the Tribunal distorted oral testimony of their witnesses in the record of proceedings and had also made findings and decisions in respect of the authenticity and weight of polling unit election results they tendered.

They demanded an immediate dissolution of the Tribunal and reconstitution of a new one that would conduct unbiased proceedings in the remaining three months life span of the petition.

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At the day’s proceedings, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Adekunle Adeleye informed lawyers to various parties of a petition questioning the members neutrality and integrity and seeking indefinite adjournment in the hearing of the case.

Justice Adeleye said that he did not know where the Tribunal members have gone wrong as alleged by APC and Sylva and called for reactions.

Counsel to INEC and PDP said that both APC and Sylva were not fair to the Tribunal in their allegations of bias and distortion of facts.

After brief reactions, they agreed that the adjournment be granted as requested by APC and Sylva.

Justice Adeleye adjourned the matter indefinitely to await the decision of the Court of Appeal President on the allegations of bias and denial of fair hearing as raised by the two petitioners.

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