By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI – Some legal practitioners have reacted angrily against the high deposit a petitioner must pay before his petition was accepted for adjudication by the election petition tribunal.
A respondent, Mr. F. Agbonye, who contested under the Labour Party for Ahiazu state constituency, said it was most unfair to expect a litigant that just came off an election to pay about N400,000, apart from the filing fees, before his petition was accepted by the tribunal.
“It is outrageous to expect one who had gone through election expenses to cough out almost half a million Naira when filing his petition,”Agbonye fumed.
He recognized the powers of the President of Court of Appeal to issue practice directives but quickly added that the sum of N400,000 was too much for someone just coming out of an election to pay.
Agbonye cited the first schedule of the Electoral Act which not only stipulated a minimum of N5,000 to be paid but also made a provision where such fees could be waived.