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Tribunal throws out petition filed by Bayelsa deputy governor

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An application filed by the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewrujakpor has been struck out by the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday.

The tribunal chaired by M. I Cirajo dismissed the application which sought to bar the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the first respondent, from producing the alleged forged documents submitted to it by the deputy governor, 4th respondent.

The tribunal resumed for pre-hearing in a suit filed by the petitioner, Vijah Eldred Opuama, a governorship Candidate of Liberation Movement (LM) in the 2019 governorship election.

M. I Cirajo while striking out the application in his ruling, agreed with the submissions of Opuama’s lead lawyer, Pius Danba, that the practice of raising an objection in opposition to a subpoena was strange in law.

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Danba argued that INEC was a material witness and the document sought to be tendered by the commission was essential to establish the claims that the fourth respondent submitted false information and was not qualified to contest the poll.

The tribunal also held that the application filed by the fourth respondent was premature and unripe as the subpoena was yet to be issued by the chairman of the tribunal.

The application which was struck out sought an order of the tribunal refusing the first arm of the petitioner’s application for the issuance of subpoena duces cum ad testificandum on Rukiya Na’ Uzo, INEC Deputy Director Legal, to tender the INEC Form CF001 submitted by the fourth respondent, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor.

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