By Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado Ekiti—The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, Wednesday granted the application of All Progressives congress, APC, requesting the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to allow it unfettered access to inspect all electoral materials used in the June 21 governorship election.
The tribunal equally granted the motion of APC to serve the governor-elect, Mr. Ayo Fayose through a substituted means since the court’s bailiffs were unable to serve the petition to Mr. Fayose personally.
The three-man panel headed by Justice Muhammad Sirajo, granted the order following an exparte application by the lawyer representing APC, Mr Kabir Akingbolu.
In the application brought in pursuant to Paragraph 8(2) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2010, and under the inherent power of the court, APC (the applicant) had complained that efforts to serve Fayose by the court’s bailiff had not been successful.
The exparte motion was brought in pursuant to Section 151 (1&2) and paragraph 47(1&2) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and was supported by a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Christian Okoh, a lawyer.
Speaking after the ruling, Akingbolu told newsmen that “The court has granted us an order to use an expert in handwriting, biometric data, and scientific analysts that can examine the ballot papers to prove whether the allegation we made is true or not, which we believe will be successfully proved.”
Dissatisfied with the result of June 21 governorship poll in the state, Ekiti State APC dragged Mr. Ayo Fayose, winner of the election and INEC to court challenging the victory against its candidate and incumbent governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
No date has however, been fixed by the tribunal for the substantive suit.