The National and State Assembly elections petition tribunal Panel 1 has commenced sitting in Sokoto.
At the inaugural sitting on Monday, Chairman of the Panel, Justice Josephine Oyefeso said the court has 15 cases.
“Pending before this panel we have seven National Assembly petitions and eight State House of Assembly petitions bringing the total number to 15 petitions. By the provisions of Section 285 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the tribunal has 180 days from the date of filling to determine these petitions,” she said.
According to her, the Panel has three pre-hearing sessions scheduled to commence after the inaugural sitting.
“We expect pre-hearing to be conducted efficiently and promptly. Pre-hearings shall take place from day-to-day unless otherwise scheduled by the tribunal. The objective is to conclude this stage expeditiously so that trial can begin in earnest.
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“I must remind us all of the need to eschew technicalities as much as possible so that we can deal with the meat or the substance of the petitions within the time allowed by law”.
The Chairman sought for the cooperation of the Bar and litigants to enable it to expeditiously conclude and determine the petitions within the time frame allotted by law.
She assured counsels and litigants of the just, fair and speedy determination of all matters before the court.
The tribunal has Justice Josephine Oyefeso, a judge of the High Court of Lagos State, as Chairman, while Kadi Abdullahi Usman of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Federal Capital Territory and Justice Eze Eke of the High Court of Imo State as member 1 and 2, respectively.