Tribunal adjourns suit challenging Ndume’s election till May 6

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#TrackNigeria: The Borno National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Nyanya, on Wednesday adjourned until May 6 for continuation of pre-hearing in a petition filed by Malam Kudla Satumari.

Satumari, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is challenging the declaration of Sen. Mohammed Ndume, of All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner of the Borno South Senatorial District poll on Feb. 23.

Joined as respondents in the petition are; the APC and INEC.

The tribunal headed by Justice Peter Kekemeke adjourned until May 6, May, 7 and May 14 for parties to present their applications.

Kekemeke also ordered the Secretary of the tribunal to provide Hausa and Kanuri interpreters.

He further ordered the petitioners to make available their documents to the respondents to enable all the counsel inspect them before the next adjourned date.

Seven petitions were mentioned while one went for pre hearing.

Earlier, counsel for Ndume, Mr Marcel Oru informed the tribunal that they have two applications one was a preliminary objection on the petition.

Secondly, according to him was preliminary objection on the petitioners response to their reply.

Oru further informed the tribunal that they intend to call nine witnesses and they do not need any interpreter.

Mr Kehinde Eleja, counsel for APC (2nd respondent ) informed the tribunal that they have 11 witnesses to call .

He further informed the tribunal that they would also need interpreters in Hausa and Kanuri languages .

Eleja also told the tribunal that they intend to file a preliminary objection formally, though they incorporated it earlier in their reply to the petition.

Mr Chinedu Obienu, counsel for Sumatari and PDP (petitioners) said they have 33 witnesses and would require amendments on further and better petition.

He informed the court that they would also need an Hausa interpreter .

INEC was however, not represented.

In the petition dated March 15, with number, EPT/BO/SEN/1/2019, Satumari averred that the election was marred by corrupt practices and non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.

He therefore sought the order of the tribunal for cancellation of the election; and for INEC to conduct fresh election for the Senatorial District within 90 days.

Ndume, in his reply to the petition denied most of the allegations in the petition.

In his reply filed on April 10, he averred that the said Borno South Senatorial election was free and fair and not marred by irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

He also demanded that the petitioner provide concrete proof, in accordance with the law, the veracity of the petition.

Ndume claimed he would prove during trial that the petition was defective, incompetent and lacked compliance with the Electoral Act.

The tribunal relocated its sitting from Maiduguri to Abuja, following approval by the president of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa. (NAN)

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