In a significant development, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the President of the Court of Appeal, has decided to relocate the Kogi Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.
The decision was communicated through a statement by David Umar Mike, the Secretary of the Tribunal.
The statement, while not explicitly stating the reasons behind the relocation, emphasized that the sittings of the tribunal would now take place at the National Judicial Institute on Umar Yar’Adua Way in Abuja.
Litigants involved in the proceedings were urged to take note of this change in venue.
However, a reliable source within the tribunal, who wished to remain anonymous, shed light on the motivation behind the move.
The source revealed that security concerns played a pivotal role in the decision.
The tribunal’s staff had reportedly faced multiple attacks in Lokoja, the previous location.
The source recounted a recent incident: “Just last Monday, tribunal officials were attacked on the way to the office.
Armed men pounced on them, robbing them of everything, including copies of petitions, personal belongings, official receipts, processes like subpoenas, and official stamps.
The overall situation with thugs has been frustrating the job, and the lives of our officials are at stake, making it difficult to work there.”
It is noteworthy that the All Progressive Congress fraudulently emerged victorious in the November 11 off-cycle election, with the Social Democratic Party doctored to be in the second position.
The relocation of the tribunal underscores the pressing security challenges faced by judicial officials in the performance of their duties.