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Tribunal Adjourns Sylva’s Petition Seeking to Disband Panel For Bayelsa Guber Poll

The Chairman of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal in Abuja has indefinitely adjourned the petition brought before it by Timipre Sylva, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The adjournment is pending the decision of the Court of Appeal President regarding allegations of bias and denial of fair hearing raised by Sylva and the APC.

Sylva and the APC stressed a vote of no confidence in the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, calling for its outright disbandment and reconstitution.

In their petition to the President of the Court of Appeal, they accused the Tribunal of violating their Constitutional right to a fair hearing.

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Among other grievances, they highlighted that although they had lined up 234 witnesses, the Tribunal restricted them to calling only 8 witnesses per day within a 7-day timeframe.

Furthermore, APC and Sylva alleged that the Tribunal’s written comments and observations indicated a predetermined bias in favor of the respondents.

They demanded the immediate dissolution of the Tribunal and the establishment of a new one to ensure unbiased proceedings during the remaining three months of the petition.

During the day’s proceedings, Tribunal Chairman Justice Adekunle Adeleye addressed the lawyers representing various parties.

Adeleye informed them about a petition that raised concerns about the members’ neutrality and integrity, seeking an indefinite adjournment in the case hearing.

The Justice made known his uncertainty regarding where the Tribunal members might have erred, as alleged by the APC and Sylva. He then invited reactions from the legal counsels.

Representatives for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contended that both the APC and Sylva had treated the Tribunal unfairly in their accusations of bias and distortion of facts.

After brief discussions, all parties concurred that the requested adjournment should be granted under the wishes of the APC and Sylva.

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