Suit seeking Dickson’s disqualification from Bayelsa senatorial by-election stalls
There was a mild drama in the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday, over the suit seeking to disqualify former Governor Seriake Henry Dickson from contesting the Bayelsa West Senatorial District by-election.
Eneoriekumoh Owoupele, who hails from Sagbama Council Area as Dickson filed the suit at the Abuja division, but was transferred to the Federal High Court, Yenagoa.
He had alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form EC9, which Dickson, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) submitted to the commission, contained false information.
When the matter was mentioned for hearing, the plaintiff’s lawyers, Messrs. A. O. Aniso and E. A. Aluzu told the court that they were yet to serve the PDP, but had filed a motion for substituted service on Dickson, the second and third defendants in the suit.
On why the motion was yet to be served in Abuja, the lawyers informed the court that the bailiff, Adewale Adepitan, told them that the court had refused to release the file.
The court, therefore, summoned the bailiff and asked him to ascertain why he was unable to serve the PDP in Abuja, to which he said the Court Registrar informed him that the file had not been released.
The lawyers said they would return on Wednesday to serve an ex parte application on Dickson.
Thereafter, the presiding Judge, Justice Jane Inyang, asked the bailiff to serve the PDP in Abuja.
Relatedly, the Concerned Citizens of Bayelsa West Senatorial District petitioned the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to intervene in the transfer of a case of alleged certificate forgery against Dickson from Abuja to the Federal High Court, Yenagoa.
A suit marked: FHC/YNG/CS/72/2020, with the PDP and Dickson as defendants, sought the former governor’s disqualification from contesting the by-election.
In a statement issued by Ogboka Selekeowei and Samson Emi Paa-ebi, after a protest at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, the group said transferring the case to Yenagoa would compromise and truncate the legal process and urged the NJC to intervene.
They said the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Aniso and Aluzu, waited for over 16 days for the matter to be assigned to a substantive judge for trial, but to no avail, accusing Dickson and the PDP of masterminding the transfer of the matter to Yenagoa, without the consent of both parties.
The group also noted that when the case came up for hearing on November Monday, 9, 2020 in Yenagoa, the lawyers asked Inyang to recuse herself from the matter.