A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Umuahia - The Chairman of the Abia State Election Tribunal, Justice Mohammed Wakili, has warned lawyers involved in election matters against coming late to the tribunal’s sittings.
Wakili, who gave the warning in Umuahia on Thursday, said that the tribunal would not tolerate any form of tardiness by lawyers appearing before it.
According to him, it is improper for the court to wait for the arrival of counsel when it is expected that they should be seated before 9 a.m.
The chairman said that if the trend continued, the tribunal would be forced to strike out the case of any absentee lawyer when it was called up.
Wakili urged the lawyers to be diligent in their work because their clients expected results from their services.
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On Thursday, the tribunal entertained five petitions for mention and six exparte motions for substituted service.
It also entertained an exparte motion for Governor Theodore Orji of the Peoples Democratic Party to be served by substituted means by Ahamdi Nweke of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
There were also three exparte motions presented before the tribunal for the inspection of card readers in Abia North by Orji Kalu of PPA and voting materials in Isiala Ngwa North and Bende.
In his ruling, the chairman granted the prayers on substituted service, instructing that respondents be served within seven days.
Wakili instructed INEC to cooperate with the petitioners whose applications for inspection had been granted by the tribunal and adjourned the sitting to May 25.