Ekiti Tribunal grants SDP Oni’s prayers for substituted service, inspection of electoral materials at INEC
The Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti has granted two prayers of the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Segun Oni, who is challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, at the just concluded governorship election in Ekiti State.
The tribunal members which had its inaugural sitting today were led by Justice Wilfred I. Kpochi, chairman, Justice Sa’ad I. Zadawa (Member 1) and Justice Jacob A. Atsen (Member 2).
The tribunal granted the prayers of the SDP candidate, Segun Oni, in the motion ex-parte: “an order of leave to effect the service of the petitioner and other processes in the proceedings on the 1st, 3rd and 5th respondents by substituted means, through the national secretary or any other officer of the All Progressives Congress, APC at No. 40, Blantyre Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja FCT”.
Also, the tribunal granted “an order permitting the applicant or its agents for the purpose of prosecuting its petition to take certified true copies and conduct manual/physical inspection of all electoral materials used in the conduct of the governorship election into the office of the Governorship of Ekiti State held on 18th June 2022, in all the 16 LGAs of Ekiti State.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Wilfred I. Kpochi, who read the judgment said the grounds are the pillars that support the applicant’s petitions to continue his petitions at the tribunal.
According to him, they find merit in the motion ex-parte and ordered INEC to give unhindered access to the petitioner to inspect the electoral materials which include BVAS, all ballot papers, and voter registration among others.
Earlier, the tribunal chairman, Justice Kpochi, had solicited the cooperation of all parties in the election petition tribunal in the state for successful proceedings, saying there should be no distractions.
The Solicitor-General in Ekiti State, Mr. Lawrence Ojo, welcomed the tribunal justices to Ekiti and wished them a successful deliberation while Mr. Oluwayomi Ojo, on behalf of the petitioner wished the justices a good stay saying he believes that justice would be served at the end of the tribunal.
Mr. F.D. Falade, O.C. Legal Police, who represented the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Moronkeji Adesina, noted that all security measures had been put in place to ensure a smooth stay of the justices in Ekiti.
The Petitioner, the SDP candidate, Chief Segun Oni, was represented by a team of lawyers including Barristers Biodun Fasakin, Owoseni Ajayi, Marakinyo Ogele, and many others.
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