The Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC’s) Legal Adviser, M. U. Peters (Esq.) has averred that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shot itself on its foot.
Barr. Peters stated this on Tuesday, July 16, while reacting to the absence of the lead counsel to Nsima Ekere, the APC gubernatorial candidate at the 2019 election, at the Tribunal.
IPAC’s adviser noted that “time in an election petition matter does not run against the defendant/ respondent, time runs legally against the petitioner who must, in the circumstances of his case, always do what he can reasonably do to make judicious and judicial use of his time. Delay tactics is part of the success strategies of the respondent in an election petition matter”.
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He also noted that “once a new Judge is appointed to hear a matter that has been part heard, the new magistrate or judge must hear the matter De novo meaning afresh as if nothing had been heard at all on that matter”.
“Now, Election Petition Matters are time bound and no time can be enlarged because time for all election petition matters have been constitutionally provided for”, he maintained.
He noted that the absence of Ekere’s Lawyers could be used against them by the PDP when the Tribunal resumes. “All this are very fresh legal arguments that any brilliant lawyer for the PDP will use when the tribunal begins with a new Chairman. And in the event that the argument fails at the tribunal that decision alone can also be tested on appeal”, he said.
Speaking further, the legal luminary said: “We expect to hear these brilliant expositions by the PDP lawyers soon as the new Chairman arrives to chair Panel No 2. It is laughable how the APC has shot itself on the foot over petitions it claims has merit”.
“Legally speaking I do not see how the APC can survive and escape from this particular trap they have set for themselves. All the petitions before Panel No 2 will collapse like a pack of cards soon as the new Chairman takes charge. This mistake is too fatal”, he concluded.