The election Petition tribunal sitting in Uyo at the Sanitation Court off Nkemba Street resumed proceedings on Wednesday 19th June, 2019 at 9:00am
The lead Counsel to the first respondent (Senator Bassey Albert -OBA) of PDP, Mr Solomon Umoh SAN was not present at the tribunal but was represented by G N Gwanson just as Mr Reuben Egwava, counsel to the Petitioner -Mr Bassey Etim of APC was also not present but sent in a medical report citing food poisoning, stomach upset and so on as discomfort making him to be in the hospital while requesting for a stand down through a substitute lawyer, Barr Linda Idiong.
Reacting to the development, G A Umoh Esq counsel to 2nd respondent (PDP) opposed to standing down of the day’s proceedings and according to him to show good fate the counsel to the petitioner had promised at the last sitting to bring three witnesses he took leave of the tribunal for suppining to appear in today’s proceedings as such the case should go on.
Counsel to 3rd respondent INEC equally opposed the application for a stand down initially but after back and forth arguments on the issue urged the tribunal to consider the stand down as denial can possibly form a basis for appeal by the petitioner on grounds of unfair hearing especially given the health excuse.
The defendants counsels had vigorously argued that the petitioner is duly represented by his substitute lawyer Linda Idiong who had earlier announced herself as the petitioner’s counsel in today’s proceedings making it a no excuse situation for a stand down.
Counsel to petitioner represented -Barr Linda Idiong announced she is appearing for the petitioner but pleaded with the tribunal that she cannot appear for the petitioner as she was just called to come and stand in given the importance of the matter but was not briefed by the lead lawyer on further steps to take on the matter.
According to Linda Odiong,