FEARS are rife that the Coronavirus pandemic may affect the activities of the Senatorial Petition Tribunal hearing the litigation arising from the Kogi West senatorial poll in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Senator Dino Melaye, who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Senator Smart Adeyemi, in last year’s election.
Although the National Judicial Commission (NJC) has ordered the slowing down of activities at the courts, the tribunals are exempted because of the constitutional provisions on timeframe.
Hearing in the case will resume tomorrow (Monday).
Dino and PDP witnesses have testified before the tribunal chaired by Justice Kashim Kaigama, shortly before the spread of the dreadful disease.
However, APC sources said fear has gripped party leaders about the health implications of mobilising witnesses from Kogi State to Abuja at this delicate period.
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Also, the APC senator, who believes he has a good case, is said to be apprehensive about the implication of non-appearance or shortage of witnesses willing or ready to appear at the Abuja tribunal.
A party source said: “The current circumstances were not contemplated when the case started. We in APC have no fear at all about the case. Our thinking now is that the resumption of the case has coincided with a fearful period nationwide.
“How do we mobilise our witnesses to Abuja at this time? Is it not risky. We have to put them in the bus and lodge them in hotels. This is our dilemma now.”