BY DAYO JOHNSON
AKURE—THE Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ondo State over the October 20 governorship election yesterday held its inaugural sitting with a stern warning to all political parties in the dispute not to try to influence any of the three members of the tribunal.
Chairman of the three member tribunal is Justice A Kaka’an, while other members include Justices H.S Mohammed and Kadi. M. Alkali.
Speaking at the inaugural sitting, Kaka’an said “as judges, we took oath to discharge our duties and perform our function, honestly to the best of our ability and faithfully in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law.
“We also swore to abide by the code of conduct, not to allow our personal interests to influence our official conduct or official decisions, to do justice to all manners of persons without fear or favour, affection or ill will, promising not to be corrupt or aid or abate corruption.
“We shall not send anyone to anybody for any reason whatsoever in connection with the hearing of these petitions and nobody should send anyone to us.
“All transactions with this tribunal shall only be officially carried out and through the same medium.”
Kaka’an added that by section 285(6) of the 1999 Constitution, the tribunal has only 180 days within which to sit, asking all counsels in the matter to cooperate with them to discharge the duties effectively.
Meantime, a drama ensued yesterday over allegation and counter-allegation of evading of service of the election petition filed against the outcome of the election of October 20.
While the counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Democratic Change (PDC), Mr. Yinka Orokoto said the governor had been evading service, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, denied such allegation.