Counsel to the PDP and it’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Emmanuel Okala, SAN had commended the panel of judges sitting on the Edo governorship elections tribunal, for agreeing to sit on a date which was a fixed public holiday.
He thereafter asked the tribunal’s permission to withdraw a motion asking for a variation of the tribunal’s earlier order on the inspection of ballot papers, which the petitioner’s filed on the 9th December 2016.
But counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Onyechi Uneadi, SAN, objected on grounds that the session was for pre-hearing and not the entertainment of applications.
On his part, N.O.Fagbemi, SAN, counsel to the APC aligned himself with the submission of the INEC and said that since the date has been set aside for hearing, the court should proceed accordingly.
At this stage , the tribunal chairman , Mr Justice Ahmed Badamasi commended counsels to both petitioner’s and respondents for the maturity displaying in meeting and agreeing that all applications will be heard during the final addresses of the pre-hearing session.
He then urged them to continue in the spirit of making the task of the tribunal smooth, as the Christmas holidays was around the corner, by putting heads together to come up with a schedule as to the modalities of the pre-hearing, the issues for determination, the admission of exhibits and calling of witnesses.
It was at this stage that Fagbemi asked the court for about a one hour recess, so that counsels to both parties can put heads together and do that which the tribunal chairman, who granted a 2-hours recess requested.