By Aplefe Ojong
Election Petition Tribunal for the National and State Assembly sitting in Calabar, Cross River State has granted two ex parte Motions brought before it by the counsel representing Senator Bassey Otu, in a petition number EPT/CR/SC/2/2015, against the Senator-Elect for the Cross River South Senatorial District, Chief Gershom Bassey, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Counsel, Barrister Essien Andrew had in a two ex parte motions, sought permission of the Court to grant an order of substituted service on the first respondent, Chief Gershom Bassey and an order directing the 3rd respondent, INEC to produce for inspection of the petitioner, solicitor and forensic experts, all materials that were used in the conduct of the election in the Senatorial District and report same to the court within seven days.
While granting the directives for the substituted service, the Tribunal ordered that the first respondent should be so served at the notice board of the Tribunal.
Moving the motion for the substituted service relied on a five paragraph affidavit, Andrew said that it is provided for in paragraph 5; subsection 2 of the Electoral Act of 2010 as amended.
The Counsel posited that the motion for the substituted order is in consonance with section 151 of the Electoral Act which he supported with a 10 page affidavit and a written address.
In their ruling, the three member Tribunal led by Justice C. Awubra granted the two ex parte motions as prayed.
In an opening remark, the Chairman of the tribunal said that the tribunal was set up by the President of the Court of Appeal in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, explaining that the task before the tribunal is enormous and daunting.
Awubra called for the cooperation of the Counsels that are handling such matters to enhance expeditious handling of the the cases within the stipulated time.
Responding, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cross River state, Barrister Attah Ochinke said that the government would cooperate with the tribunal to achieve the purpose for which it was established.
Other matters before the Tribunal include petition number, EPT/CR/SE/3/2015 filed by Dr. sandy Onor against Hon. John Owan Enoh; EPT/CR/NA/4/2015, filed by Dr Alex Egbona against Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa.
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