*** As Court fixed Monday 27th August, 2012 for hearing

*** Government House Jittery

By Jones Abiri, South/South Bureau Chief (www.247ureports.com)

The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State will on Monday 27th

August, 2012 hear the appeal of the Change Advocacy Party (CAP)

over the July 11 verdict of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election

Petition Tribunal, Yenagoa.

The Change Advocacy Party (CAP) and its governorship candidate,

Dr Imoro Kubor, had filed an appeal at the higher court

challenging the ruling of the Justice Muhahmmed Ibrahim Sirajo-led

Tribunal.

Muhammed had on July 11 summarily dismissed an application filed by

the petitioners (Dr. Kubor and CAP) and held that Hon. Henry Seriake

Dickson was qualified to contest the February 11th 2012 Gubernatorial

election in Bayelsa State. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Dr. Imoro

Kubor and change Advocacy party (CAP) filed a Notice of Appeal on 23rd

July 2012.

The Notice of Appeal contained ten (10) grounds of appeal.

The tribunal chairman explained that the tribunal was compelled to

dismiss the petition because the application was presumed to be lacking in

merit because Exhibit ?N? which was a Federal High Court document

tendered by Dr. Kubor and Change Advocacy Party (CAP) is a judgment.

The petitioners were challenging the declaration of Hon. Henry Seriake

Dickson as the winner of the February 11 governorship poll in Bayelsa.

Lawyer to Dr. Imoro Kubor and Change Advocacy Party (CAP) and Senior

Advocate of Nigeria, Barrister A.J. Owonikoro on their Notice of

Appeal averred that the learned Justices of the Trial Tribunal erred

in the law and came to a wrong decision thereby occasioning a

miscarriage of justice when their lordships accepted the contention of

Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson and PDP that Exhibit ?N? is a judgment

capable of conferring substantive right in favour of Hon Dickson

whereas same is an expert interim order made by the Federal High Court

sitting in Abuja in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/3/2012.

A.J. Owonikoro, SAN equally said the learned Judges of the Trial

Tribunal erred in law by misapplying section 84 (4) of the Evidence

Act, Cap E. 14, 2012 and thus wrongly rejected EXHIBIT ?D? and ?L?

being internet printout of published list of duly nominated candidates

at the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial election of 11th February, 2012.

The Change Advocacy Party candidate, Dr. Imoro Kubor?s reliefs sought

at the Court of Appeal include: an order setting aside the judgment of

the Trial Tribunal dismissing his Petition, an order upholding his (

kubor ) ground of petition that Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson was, at the

election into office of Governor of Bayelsa State held on 11th

February, 2012, not qualified to contest the said election as required

by law.

Also, an order Nullifying/Cancelling the certificate of return wrongly

issued by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Hon.

Henry Seriake Dickson pursuant the election held into the office of

Governor of Bayelsa State on 11th Feburary, 2012 and further ordering

Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson to vacate the office forthwith. That facts

admitted constitute part of the evidence which the Tribunal had a duty

to evaluate in coming to a decision on qualification of Hon. Dickson

to contest the election.

Dr. Imoro Kubor through his celebrated Senior Advocate of Nigeria

sought Consequential Order pursuant to section 15 of the Court of

Appeal Act, 2004 directing Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to

issue forthwith a certificate of return to the candidate at the

election who scored the highest lawful votes cast and met all the

constitutional spread after reckoning without the votes recorded for

Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson which were wasted votes, that is, Dr. Imoro

Kubor who was sponsored at the election by the Change Advocacy Party

(CAP) or directing the Independent National Electoral Commission

(INEC) to conduct a fresh election into the office of Governor of

Bayelsa State.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in

Bayelsa State is shaky as a result of the appeal filed by Dr. Imoro

Kubor and Change Advocacy Party (CAP). Weekly Source Crack Team

reliably told by a source who pleaded not to be mentioned in print

said there is confusion in our secretariat due to the fact that some

of our members (state working committee) are mending fence with

Kubor?s camp now.

?Just that l will not call names. There are black legs now! They

foresee that there may be change of power in the state because last

time our party (PDP) undermines the petition of Ebitimi Angbare of

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and at the end of the day the then

governor (Timipre Sylva) was removed to pave way for a fresh election

in the state.

?Some of our members envisaged that since Dr. Imoro Kubor (CAP) came

second with twenty two thousand, five hundred and thirty four votes

(22,534) and since his lawyer is contending the issues contained in

Exhibits ?N? ?D? and ?L? which some of us were told by lawyers that

the Trial Tribunal would have taking in to consideration of those key

issues raised by Kubor?s petition. But this was not done and it is our

fear for now.

? Infact, am afraid of A.J. Owonikoro, SAN who always handle Action

Congress of Nigeria (ACN) matters, even the present Governorship

Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Edo State?, the source said.

According to A.J. Owonikoro, SAN said ?the law assists only the

vigilant and not the indolent?. A government house source said, the

governor was not jittery over the appeal and the case generally.

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