(NAN ) The absence of the petitioners, on Thursday in the Borno National and State Houses of Assembly sitting in Nyanya, stalled the commencement of pre-hearing in a petition filed by Malam Bukar Shuwa of the PDP.
Shuwa, is challenging the declaration of Malam Ahmed Satomi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner of the election into the Jere Federal Constituency of Borno seat held on Feb. 23,
Joined as respondents in the petition are the APC and INEC.
Mr Ayo Olarenwaju, counsel for Satomi and the APC, told the court that the petitioners were not represented and as such the tribunal should dismiss their prayer for want of diligent prosecution.
Also, Mr Oluwole Olatunde counsel for the INEC, informed the tribunal that he filed a similar motion praying the court to dismiss the suit.
The tribunal headed by Justice Peter Kekemeke after listening to the submissions of the counsel noted that the notice of the pre-hearing was only served on the petitioners on Wednesday.
He said in view of this another day should be given to the petitioners.
Kekemeke adjourned until May 15 for hearing of the respondents motions.
He therefore sought the declaration of the tribunal for INEC to withdraw Satomi’s Certificate of Return and to conduct fresh election for the seat of Jere Federal Constituency.
Satomi averred in his reply dated April, 29 made available to NAN, that the petitioners call for cancellation of the election is unconscionable and borne out of desire to truncate the franchise freely exercised by the electorate.
He denied the petitioners’ allegations of connivance with INEC and put the petitioners to a strict proof of the allegations.
Satomi further averred that he would rely on relevant documents to prove his points.
He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition in its entirety for being frivolous, vexatious, unconscionable, gold digging and lacking on merit.
edited by Sadiya Hamza