Tribunal Chairman mandates lawyers on brevity

Tribunal Chairman mandates lawyers on brevity

The fireworks this afternoon started at the elections petitions tribunal, with thevChairman of Panel One, of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Anambra State, Hon Justice Ogundana has charged all the litigants appearing before his panel to endeavor to go straight to the points. 

Justice Ogundana dropped the advice Saturday afternoon in Awka during the introductory  proceedings of the petition in suit ref EPT/AN/SEN/05/2023 brought by the Anambra Central Senatorial candidate in the last general election, Hon Dozie Nwankwo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against Chief Victor Umeh of the Labour Party. 

Cautioning the parties appearing before his 3-man panel of Justices, the Chairman, read out what looked like the ground rules, pointing out that resumption time was 10am, while short break was for 12.30pm to 01.30pm. 

The closing time daily will be at 4pm, except Fridays. He disclosed the panel would sit Saturdays and Public Holidays too. 

That Star witnesses will get 8 minutes for presentation while Cross examination takes 10 minutes. 

He pointed out that according to the operational practice direction that became effective May 22,2023, parties in the matter must forward list of proposed witnesses and the order of presentation. 

He stated that such names must reach the Tribunal at least 24 hours before the date of presentation. 

Justice Ogundana told the jampacked courtroom at the Anambra Judiciary Headquarters complex that the Tribunal still reserve the right to abridge the time and the number of witnesses, if in the view of the Tribunal it was necessary. 

While O. J. Dare announced appearance for Dozie Nwankwo (petitioner), Oluwole Osaze Uzi and others appeared for the first respondent(the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC); Molokwu Edward and Chrisom Ibemesi appeared for 2nd respondent(Labour Party) and Reginald Uzoechi and others appeared for the 3rd respondent(Chief Victor Umeh) 

The matter was later adjourned to June 13,14,16 and 17 for continuation.

Justice Ogundana announced that a new Panel 4 has been created for the state to assist the existing three panels. 

Some of the petitions before his panel we’re moved to the newly created panel.

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