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Benue tribunal chairman warns against delay tactics




As the National/ State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday commenced per- hearing session, the chairman, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu has lashed out at lawyers for employing delay tactics.

In a petition filed by Governor Gabriel Suswam against Senator Barnabas Gemade, the latter’s counsel, J.J. Igbabon Esq. told the court that he has filed an application urging the tribunal to strike out the governor’s petition on grounds that it is incompetent.

The application was scheduled to be heard but counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Dr. Garba Kwambe requested for time to study the application.

Justice Dipeolu, who expressed displeasure at the manner lawyers are wasting time, reiterated that the tribunal would not tolerate unnecessary adjournment.

“I do not like the way we are starting. Cases should be fast-tracked. We are still crawling and I do not like it. If we go at this pace, we will end not achieving anything.”

She however, adjourned the case to June 2nd, 2015 for the hearing of the application.

Other cases heard during the pre- hearing session include, the one between Robert Tyough of the PDP and Benjamin Wayo of APC for Ushongo/Kwande House of Representative seat, which was adjourned to 2nd June 2015 while the matter between Terhemen Hon and Herman Hembe for Vandeikya/Konshisha House of Representative seat was adjourned to 3rd June 2015.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Rt. Rev (Dr.) Wilfred Anagbe, has advised the incoming governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, to handle security issues with the determination that it deserve.

Anagbe, who made the plea while preaching on the significance of the Pentecost in the life of Christians advised lamented that herdsmen, for no just cause have, for too long, killed Benue people.
“Our people don’t need all these, they don’t need to face security challenges from the Fulani anymore; in the middle of March, Fulani killed over 80 people in Agatu, nobody has spoken, not Federal Government, not the state government,” Anagbe agonised.

“Last week, I was in Ikpayongo and I said what is the fault of the people? In the times of Jesus, diseases were sent away from human beings into over 2, 000 pigs which died but here, the Fulani say cows are more important than human beings,” he added.

“What is the crime of the civil servants? Are other workers not their equals? Let us be seen as best among equals,” Anagbe said.

While lamenting that greed, avarice and materialism have impoverished the people of the state, the Bishop charged the congregation to bear witnesses against all these.

“You (Ortom) have work to do, which means in the area of security, in the area of education, which has collapsed, you, Ortom has to develop agriculture and put smiles on the faces of workers,” the bishop charged the incoming governor.

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