BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI — The Benue State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has relocated to Abuja following alleged threat to lives of its members.
The Chairman, Justice Ladan Mumir, said this in Makurdi, yesterday, adding that members were relocating to Abuja to confer with the Court of Appeal for further directives.
Justice Mumir stressed that the court would resume to hear pending cases after the said security challenges had been addressed.
He said: “The court is faced with security challenges, we have to go back to Abuja.
“We can only sit when the matter (security issue) is resolved. In that wise, hearing notices will be served on the counsel when the matter is addressed.”
Reacting to the decision of the tribunal, the Chairman of the ruling PDP, Dr. Emmanuel Agbo, blamed the situation on what he described as the alleged unruly behaviour of members of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, describing the development as unfortunate.
“At every sitting of the court, we noticed hordes of ACN supporters who besieged the premises , creating unnecessary tension and distractions and thereby making the vicinity of the court unsafe for the panellists,” Agbo said.
The Chairman of ACN, Abba Yaro, accused the PDP government of failing to ensure security of lives and property in the state.
He said: “If there are security challenges in a state, the government in power should be held responsible for that.”
However, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, asked, “the judges to explain the sort of security challenges they have and the people behind it, otherwise, they are only trying to heat up the polity and put the people in a state of anxiety.”
Tsav also wondered whether the judges requested for additional security from either the government or the police and such request was turned down, adding that, if they did, it would be an indictment on the part of government or the police.
Tsav however added that which ever way, ‘’the development does not give a good image of Benue State; the people of the state want the case to be heard and disposed of without further delay”.
According to Tsav, “high court judges should not behave like cowards but should interpret the position of the law.”