The Bayelsa Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, has struck out nine petitions and dismissed five out of the 28 filed.
NAN reports that the tribunal relocated to Abuja on April 30. Although no reason was given for the relocation, sources said the decision might not be unconnected with the security challenges in the state.
Dah Akawu, the Secretary of the tribunal, told News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the nine petitions including two for the Senate and three for the State House of Assembly, were dismissed for failure of the petitioners to file pre-trial processes within the seven stipulated days. According to the secretary, the petitions dismissed, among others are suit EPT/BY/SEN/20/2019, EPT/BY/SHA/31/2019, EPT/BY/SEN/18/2019,EPT/BY/SHA/30/2019 and EPT/BY/SHA/32/2019.
The petition with suit no EPT/BY/SEN/20/2019 which the National Rescue Movement instituted as petitioner against Independent National Electoral Commission and Peoples Democratic Party as respondent, he said, was dismissed by the Tribunal for failure of the petitioners to file their pre-hearing application within time.
Akawu said another petition that was dismissed was petition with suit no: EPT/BY/SHA/31/2019 which had Advanced Allied Party and Tobesime Asiou as petitioners and Oforji Oboku, PDP and INEC, as respondents was dismissed for failure of the petitioners to comply with pre-trial requirements.
The suit was dismissed because the petitioners filed their pre-trial application out of time. Akawu said only 14 petitions were still pending before the tribunal.
NAN reports that there are two panels sitting in the election petition matters. Panel one has Justice Kenneth Wosu as chairman and Justices Haruna Offo and Habibu Mukailu as members.
Justice Lambert Azuama, sits as chairman for panel two, while Justices
Ruqayat Ayoola and Linda Yaroson are members.