By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the last House of Representatives election in Delta State, Prince Collins Eselemo, has faulted the election petition tribunal members for delivering judgment after he sought the transfer of his case to another court.
Eselemo, to this end, has petitioned the President, Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to probe the action of the state election petition tribunal members.
Eselemo stated that the tribunal delivered the ruling in his absence, claiming that he abandoned his petition against the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Nichola Mutu, a claim he hotly disputed.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, the APC candidate explained that he had in a petition dated June 26,2019, asked the Court of Appeal President to transfer his election petition to another tribunal because he believed the tribunal members would not give him justice.
While waiting for the case to be transferred by the Appeal Court President, Eselemo said he was shocked to learn that his case had been dismissed by the tribunal.
Instead of handing off the case as prayed, Eselemo said the tribunal members went ahead to deliver a ruling on July 26, 2019, dismissing the case as abandoned.
He tendered his petitions to the Appeal Court President, the National Judicial Council and Chief Justice of Nigeria, which were also copied to the Chairman and Secretary of the Delta State election petition tribunal, Justice England Ngene and Suraju Gusau, respectively.
The petitioner also presented a response from the Court of Appeal President acknowledging his petition and assuring him that action would be taken on his request.
The letter with reference number, PCA/EPT/2019/Vol.V, dated July 3, was received by the APC candidate in Abuja.
The letter by Justice Bulkachuwa’s Secretary, Mrs. E. Ehilor, read, “I am directed by the President, Court of Appeal, to inform you that she was not on seat when your petition was brought as she had traveled out of the country for official assignment hence the delay in addressing your petition. It is now being considered for further action.”