APC’s fate hangs as tribunal adjourns Bayelsa governorship sitting sine-die

The Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has adjourned its sitting until further notice.

The three-member panel of Judges took the decision during Monday hearing at the instance of the petitioners.

According to the petitioner, it is still awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal President, Mrs Monica Dongban-mensem, where he petitioned the three-member panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye.

The petition was filed by Chief Timipre Sylva and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the election of Governor Duoye Diri.

At the last hearing it would be recalled, the tribunal had adjourned to Monday, March 4 for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to open its defence of the November 11, 2023, governorship election that produced Diri as re-elected Governor of Bayelsa state.

But at the resumed hearing, the counsel to the petitioners, Mr R. O. Balogun (SAN), informed the tribunal of a petition and letter written to the President of the Court of Appeal and the secretary of the tribunal, complaining of bias and lack of fair hearing.

The petition according to Balogun specifically asked the president to disband the panel and constitute a new one, arguing that the petitioners still have up till May 28, for the expiration of their petition.

At that point, he pleaded the tribunal to adjourn further proceedings pending the decision of the Court of Appeal President.

Initially, INEC, Diri, and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrujakpo opposed the request for adjournment, only to back out after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pointed out that it is the petitioners’ case and they can spend the whole year, arguing it.

After hearing out parties in the matter, Justice Adeleye adjourned hearing in the petition sine-die.