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Petitioners in dilemma as Appeal court president, judges frustrate cases



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By Our Reporter


Barely five days for all the 2011 election cases pending at the Court of Appeal, Benin city, Edo state to elapse, petitioners of such cases, their political parties and supporters who besieged the court this morning have accused the Appeal court President Justice Dalhatu Adamu and judges of frustrating the cases before them.


The appeal cases filed by candidates of states and National Assemblies after the lower tribunal had struck out the cases and by the electoral law; the cases will elapse on January, 9th, 2012 having completed its 180 days as stipulated by the law.


At the court of appeal, Benin City, this morning, petitioners with their political parties and supporters who stormed the court were today disappointed again when they were told the court is billed to hear only the governorship case and every pending states and National Assemblies cases billed for today, January, 4th, 2012 would not be held due to the inability of the Appeal court President to constitute a new panel to hearing the petitions.


It was reliably gathered that after the removal of the former panel led by Justice R. C Agbo, the President has deliberately refused to constitute another panel for the court of Appeal sitting in Benin City.

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Following this tactics, impeccable court sources confided in this reporter in Benin that several cases elapsed today because there was no panel to hear the pending appeal cases before the court.


Some petitioners and political parties’ faithful who spoke under anonymity at the court accused the judiciary hierarchy of playing a script written by the ruling party to the detriment of the petitioners. “The Judiciary hierarchy is denying us justice and they are playing a script by the ruling party. We are therefore calling on the Appeal court President to as a matter of importance follow the path of justice and honour to constitute the panel and hear all the pending cases for the interest of peace and justice before they elapse on the 9th, January, 2012. By this action, the Appeal court President is sending a wrong signal to Nigerians.”


Investigations revealed that this is the sixth times the pending cases have suffered a serious setback following the matter and way they are been put off thereby creating the atmosphere for expiration of such cases.

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In a press statement issued at the court premises in Benin a group which called it name as “Vanguard for Good Governance” signed by the national President, Comrade Obioma Clement and Secretary General, Comrade Ahmed Danjuma Ahmed and made available to newsmen expressed disappointment over what they called deliberate attempt by the Appeal Court President to deny the petitioners justice and their rights to fair hearing.


While accusing the President of playing pranks, the group urged him to as a matter of urgent and importance constitute the panel for the pending cases to be held. “If nothing is done, then what we are suspecting and been rumoured about the Court president, will be considered to be nothing but the whole the truth. Constitutionally every Nigerians have rights to fair hearing and justice but when this is been threatened then so many waters must have passed under the bridge. By January 9th, 2012 all the pending cases must have elapsed so; we are calling for the immediate constitution of the panel now and let all the cases be tried once and for all.”

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