Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
Mr. Owoupele Eneoriekumoh, a kinsman of former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, has petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa over alleged failure to compile and transmit records of proceedings in suit number FHC/YNG/CS/72/2020 within time.
Owoupele, who is the plaintiff in the above-mentioned suit, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Peoples Democratic Party, and Dickson as first, second and third respondents over alleged false information contained in the INEC form EC9 of Seriake Dickson, the candidate of PDP for the Bayelsa West senatorial election.
Justice Jane Inyang in her ruling on November 11, 2020, dismissed the suit for being filed out of time as time starts to count from the date of the submission of INEC Form EC9.
According to the court, Dickson submitted his form on September 13, 2020, while the suit was filed on September 30, 2020.
However, Owoupele in the petition through his solicitor, Pius Danba, Esq., maintained that the suit was dismissed suo motu when it came up for an ex parte application for substituted service on the third respondent (Dickson).
According to Wikipedia, suo motu describes an act of authority taken without formal prompting from another party. The term usually applies to actions by a judge taken without a prior motion or request from the parties.
Owoupele maintained that service of the originating process was yet to be effected on the second and third respondents neither did any of the respondents filed any process in court when the suit was dismissed.
He said: “We filed an appeal on November 13, 2020, and applied for records on the same day yet up till now it has not been approved when we are left with just three days.
“We are aware that an appeal against the decision of the court in the pre-election matter is time conscious and unless the records are compiled and transmitted within time, the justice of this case will remain elusively.”