PRESIDENTIAL TRIBUNAL TO SIT SATURDAYS ON CPC PETITION

By NBF News
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The presidential election tribunal will with effect from September 12 commence sitting on daily basis including Saturdays as part of efforts to determine the petition filed by the Congress for Progessive Change (CPC) against the election of President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) within the constitutionally stipulated time frame.

The tribunal, which took the decision after presenting the report of the pre-hearing session, which has taken four months of the six months scheduled for the petition said that once the hearing of the substantive matter commences on September 12, the panel would be sitting from Mondays to Saturdays until the petition was determined.

The panel also ordered that the petitioner (CPC) would have only 10 days to argue its case, while the respondents (Jonathan, Sambo, PDP, Jega, INEC and the 37 RECs) would be given five days to respond. The panel would also grant five minutes each for the cross-examination of witnesses. Its barely two months to the end of the period stipulated by law to hear and determine election petition arising from the petition filed by CPC challenging the election of Goodluck Jonathan as the winner of April 16 presidential election.

Barely two months to the end of the period stipulated by law to hear and determine election petition arising from an election, the presidential election petition sitting in Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has fixed September 12 to commence hearing of the substantive matter as contained in the petition filed by CPC challenging the election of Goodluck Jonathan as the winner of April 16 presidential election.

The four-man panel presided by Justice Garba Mohammed fixed the September 12 date yesterday while presenting the report of the pre-hearing session, which consumed four months of the six months scheduled for the petition.

The four-member panel of Court of Appeal justices also announced that once the hearing of the substantive matter commenced on September 12, the panel would be sitting from Mondays to Saturdays until the petition was determined.

In the pre-hearing report, which marked the end of the preliminarily issues concerning the CPC petition, the panel ordered that the petitioner CPC would have only 10 days to argue its case, while the respondents (Jonathan, Sambo, PDP, Jega, INEC and the 37 RECs) would be given five days to respond.

The panel will also allow only five minutes for the cross-examination of witnesses.