The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has dismissed an interlocutory appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party challenging an earlier ruling by the National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.
This is the second time in the last one month that the appellate court will be ruling against the PDP in suit number EPT/CR/SE/2/15 involving the senatorial candidate of the Cross River-South district on the platform of the Labour Party, Senator Bassey Otu, and his PDP counterpart, Senator Gershom Bassey, who was declared the winner of the March 28 election.
The court had on August 6 ruled against the PDP’s attempt to reject some witnesses’ statements on oath which were admitted as exhibits by the tribunal.
Again, in the latest ruling on Friday, the court denied the PDP’s counsel, Mr. Effefiom Ekong, who is the 2nd respondent, an appeal to introduce more witnesses.
But the move was objected by the counsel for the LP candidate, Mr. Essien Andrew, who drew the attention of the court to certain lapses in the process.
In a lead judgment by Justice J.O.K Oyewole, the appellate court held that the appeal was frivolous, saying the law permitted the calling of witnesses as granted by the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria led by Mr. Bassey Edim has called on the national and state house of assembly election petitions tribunal in Calabar to stick to the 180-day deadline required to dispense all cases before it.
Edim frowned on the delay tactics employed by counsel in ongoing cases at the tribunal.