The 2019 Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal for Cross River State on Monday started prehearing on the cases brought by the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidates for the state Senator John Owan Enoh and Pastor Ussani Usani against Senator Ben Ayade of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, who won the election.
JUSTICE Josiah Majebi, Chairman of the Tribunal while speaking at the inaugural session warned journalists and litigants to avoid distorting information on the actions and decisions of the Tribunal in order not to face the wrath of God.
Justice Majebi said the Tribunal would be strict and fair to all concerned and called on all litigants and counsels to adhere strictly to the code and conduct guiding the operations of the Tribunal.
“We will carry out this assignment with the best of our integrity and we call on members of the press and litigants to be conscious of what information they disseminate because if they spread out the wrong information I will cry to my God who is the ultimate judge”.
He said since judges cannot speak out and address press conferences because of the positions they occupy they can call on God to avenge on their behalf.
He said the judiciary is on trial stating that the panel has one hundred and eighty days from the time of filing the cases and called on the lawyers to conduct themselves in a manner that would ensure speedy trail of the cases listed.
Mr Joseph Abang, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state in his speech said elections in Nigeria have become exercise full of acrimony and often end in litigation but that does not mean the choice of the people should be thwarted or subverted.
“Lawyers should at all times conduct themselves with all sense of responsibility and candour and professionalism and avoid technicalities and unnecessary adjournments so that the time frame for this exercise is kept”.
Senator Ayade is represented by Paul Erokoro, SAN, while Owan Enoh by Awa Kalu, SAN and Usani by BN A Itowo. Prehearing on both cases continues tomorrow