By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA— Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, Thursday, disbanded a 3-man panel of justices’ presiding over the Borno State governorship election petition.
The action came few minutes before it could deliver its judgment on a petition by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Mr. Ibrahim Goni, in the April 26 governorship election.
The petitioners had gone to the tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Kashim Shettima of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.
Though the tribunal had ab-initio conducted its sittings in Borno State, however, owing to security challenges in the state, it relocated to Abuja where it stayed and concluded hearing on the petition before setting yesterday to deliver its judgment on the matter.
However, members of the panel and supporters of the contending parties who thronged an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2, where the tribunal hitherto held its proceedings, were shocked when an emissary arrived with the dissolution letter from the Acting PCA.
The secretary of the panel, who broke the news to counsel in the matter, said no reasons were adduced for the action, adding that the PCA expressly ordered the panel members to await further instructions.
The secretary said: “I have been directed by the registrar of the Court of Appeal to inform you that this tribunal has been dissolved and so will not be sitting today. We shall all wait for further directives.”
Spirited efforts by journalists to reach the PCA proved abortive as he was said to be too busy to attend to anybody, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Governor Shettima, yesterday, expressed his displeasure over the development, saying the action was in bad faith.