By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”The opposition parties in Bayelsa State have called on the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri, to expedite action on the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal to hear their petition against the alleged fraud and disenfranchisement of the people by the State Independent Electoral Commission.
The appeal is coming barely twenty four hours after the inauguration of the winners of the weekend polls which were swept by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Governor Sylva had, during the inauguration of the council chairmen, challenged them to shun fraudulent acts and also carry along members of the opposition parties.
Led by the Action Congress, AC, the opposition in a statement issued by Comrade Ebikibina Miriki, said their appeal for the speedy establishment of the Local Government Election Tribunal by the state Chief Judge was informed by the time frame provided by the constitution and the intention of the Chief Judge to proceed on vacation abroad.
According to the Action Congress chieftain, the opposition parties, involved in the weekend polls were dissatisfied with the flagrant abuse of electoral processes, the alleged fraudulent action of the officials of Bayelsa Independent Electoral Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party as well as violence that culminated in the killing of seven persons during the polls.
The anomalies noticed during the exercise, according to the opposition parties, could only be corrected through the tribunal, and, therefore urged Justice Abiri to constitute the tribunal in line with section 85, sub section 1, of the Local Government cap L. 10 Laws of Bayelsa State.
Miriki, in the statement said, â€œthe election is the most fraudulent and flawed polls in the history of the state. Since the party hopes and desires to have the anomalies correctedÂ through the judiciary, we urge the Chief Judge of the State to, without delay, constitute the local government election tribunal as provided in section 85, sub sec.1 of the Local Government cap.L.10 laws of the state.
â€œThe parties are aware of the time frame, within which a petition can be presented to the tribunal, which had started counting from Tuesday, 6 April, 2010.The Action Congress is fully aware and abreast with the fact that the Chief Judge is presently planning to travel out of the country.â€
He however commended the AC flag bearers for their active participation in the just concluded local government election as well as their efforts to enthrone lasting and enduring democratic structure.