By, ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The National Assembly Elections Appeal Panel for Delta State sitting in Benin, Edo state, has been dissolved.
AUTHENTIC News Daily learnt that the panel which formerly had Hon. Justice Tom Yakubu, Hon. Justice B. S. Sanga and Hon. Justice Williams Dawodu was billed to seat when they heard of the panel’s dissolution on Monday.
The development did not affect the panels for the governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Delta State.
It was gathered that the directive for the dissolution of the panel came from the President of the Courts of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.
AUTHENTIC News Daily gatherd that the Delta State Appeal Panel for National Assembly elections cases was billed to hear appeal cases from the state on Monday October 21.
Our correspondent who was at the court on Monday reports that the Clerk of the Appeal Court in Benin announced the development to waiting counsels to both parties and their supporters.
Among the cases to listed for hearing Monday is the case filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in Delta Central Senatorial District, Hon. Evelyn Oboro challenging the victory of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who represents Delta Central.
Others are the case filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta North, Mrs Doris Uboh challenging the election victory of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also, the panel was to hear the appeal filed by Hon. Ben Ibakpa of the PDP challenging tribunal ruling which sacked him and declared Hon. John Agoda as the winner of the election in Ethiope Federal Constituency, and Thomas Joel-Onowakpo and Hon. Leo Ogor for Isoko Federal Constituency.
Investigation revealed that the panel was disbanded following the judges’ refusal to do the bidding of a certain political party that approached the panel members to give judgement in favour of their members.
It learnt that the members of the panel had declined the request to influence judgement in favour of the said political party.
One of our highly placed source disclosed that the panel members’ refusal to do the bidding of the powerful led to the disbandment of the panel for a new panel.
The source further revealed that a new panel would be constituted by the President of the Courts of Appeal before next week Monday.
Our source who declined to be mention noted that the dissolution of the panel reveals the level of power in elections cases.
“Some big political weights in Delta State would have been shock with some of the judgements that would have come from the panel members. The members of the panel are some of the best judges in the country. They were the ones that handled the Nasarawa State tribunal cases. They are highly principled justices at the Appeal level.
“They are already scouting for those that will do their bidding”, the source further added.