The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday filed a Notice of Appeal challenging the decision of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in the state to defer ruling on its application pending the hearing in the substantive petition.
Joined in the appeal were Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Samuel Ortom, as respondents.
The PDP was the third respondent in Jime’s petition, which was challenging the return of Ortom as governor of Benue State.
The tribunal had ruled that the determination of the Motion on Notice number EPT/BN/GOV/01/M7/2019, brought by the PDP praying it to strike out specific paragraphs of the reply of Jime and APC to its reply and the witness statements on oath accompanying it shall await the conclusion of the hearing of the petition.
But dissatisfied, the PDP filed the notice of appeal, which was predicated on six grounds.
The grounds were that the tribunal erred in law and breached the appellant’s right of fair hearing; that the tribunal erred in law and acted without jurisdiction when it refused to determine its application; that the tribunal erred in law by exercising a discretion that it did not possess in law.
Others were that the tribunal erred in law when it differed its ruling based on Section 285(8) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Fourth Alteration); that the tribunal erred in law by allowing Jime and APC to lead evidence on issues raised unlawfully; and that the tribunal erred when it directed commencement of hearing when pleadings had not been properly settled and closed.
According to the Notice of Appeal by Ambrose Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, the PDP was seeking, among other reliefs, an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal in its Motion on Notice; an order of Court of Appeal to rehear and determine its Motion Number EPT/BN/GOV/01/M7/2019 and in the alternative direct the governorship.
Hearing in the substantive petition was due to open on June 24, 2019.
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