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Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Hon Adekunle Akinlade and his party, to inspect the electoral documents used for the conduct of the March 9, election in the state.
The tribunal which was led by Justice Chinwe Onyeabor alongside two other members of the panel gave the order at its inaugural sitting on Monday following a motion ex parte filed by Akinlade and the party.
In the petition filed to challenge the victory of the victor at the governorship poll, Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress was marked EPT/OG/GOV/ 01/2019.
The petitioners, however, joined the duo of the candidate and his party, the All Progressives Congress as second and third respondents.
In his address, the Petitioners’ Counsel, Mamman Osuman SAN who appeared with Ahmed Raji SAN, told the tribunal that the order becomes necessary to allow the applicants access the electoral documents “with a view to maintaining the petition already filed before the tribunal.”
According to Osuman, the petition was brought in pursuant to section 151 sub-section 1 and 2 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
He further prayed that “An order directing the 1st Respondent to forthwith grant access to the Petitioners/Applicants and their Solicitors, agents, experts and other staff to inspect, photocopy, scan, pay for and obtain certified copies of all documents used by the 1st Respondent for the conduct of the Ogun State Governorship Election held on 9th of March, 2019, for the purpose of instituting and maintaining Election Petition; the said documents being the ones contained in the schedule attached to the Supporting Affidavit to this application;
“An order allowing/permitting the Petitioners/Applicants (for the purpose of instituting and maintaining an Election Petition) to inspect, scan, photocopy, pay for and obtain certified copies of the electoral documents contained in the schedule attached to the Application, same being the documents that are in the custody of and were used by the 1st Respondent in the conduct of the Governorship Election that took place in Ogun State on 9th March, 2019.
“An order directing the 1st Respondent to promptly abide by the orders of this court, made in the terms of the Ex parte application.”
In granting the orders, Justice Onyeabor said the prayers were granted “strictly in compliance to section 151 sub-section 1 and 2 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The Tribunal, however, adjourned the matter till the 9th of April, for confirmation of service.