The Election Petitions Tribunal (Panel 2) in Sokoto State has received 15 petitions from candidates, who were defeated in the national and state assemblies’ elections in the state.
This was disclosed yesterday when the tribunal had its inaugural sitting where the members were introduced by its chairman, Justice Josephine Efunkumbi Oyefeso, a judge of the High Court of Lagos.
The two other members of the panel according to the tribunal chairman include Khadi Abdullahi Saidu Usman of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Federal Capital Territory and Justice Eze Nonye Eke of the High Court of Justice Imo State.
In her address, Oyefeso said election tribunals play critical roles in the resolution of disputes arising from elections in Nigeria, saying that the judiciary sits as an impartial arbiter over petitions filed before it and determines the disputes based on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and relevant laws without fear or favour.
She stated that the panel received seven National Assembly petitions and eight state Assembly petitions bringing the total number of petitions before the panel to 15.
“By the provision of Section 285 (6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the tribunal has 180 days from the date of filing to determine the petitions; we solicit for support and cooperation of the bar and the litigants so as to expeditiously conclude and determine all the petitions within the time frame.
We must bear in mind that sittings may extend to Saturdays and Sundays where necessary.”
The tribunal is expected to commence sitting daily at 9 am with one hour recess at lunchtime.
The tribunal chairman however assured both counsels and litigants of just, fair, and speedy determination of all matters before it.