By Gbenga Ariyibi
The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital is expected to deliver its judgment tomorrow on the petition filed by the Action Congress, AC, candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi challenging the declaration of Governor Segun Oni as winner of the 25 April 2009 governorship re-run election.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the tribunal has sent a 48- hour notice of judgment to counsel of the two parties, while the state police commissioner, Mr Christopher Kakwe Kalto was said to have held a meeting with the leaders of both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Action Congress, AC, on the need to maintain law and order on the day of judgment and after the judgment
The notice of judgment which was signed by the tribunal secretary, Mr. Polycarp Nwachukwu reads: â€œTake notice that the above mentioned petition has been listed for judgment on Wednesday, 5th day of May 2010 at Court No 1 of Ado-Ekiti at the hour of 9.00am.â€
Police deploy 6,000 policemen
To forestallÂ any outbreak of law and order, the state police command has alreadyÂ deployed over 6,000 regular and mobile police (MOPOL) inÂ Ado-Ekiti and different parts of the state to take charge of security of the state before, during and after the tribunal judgement
Vanguard further gathered that the policemen who were mobilized from the neigbouring states had arrived the state, weekend, shortly after a meeting between the state police boss, Mr Chris Kalto and the leaders of the two political parties on the issue of security.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for the state police command, ASP Mohammed Jimoh said the police was ready to curtail any crisis that may break out after the judgment, saying the party leaders have also been cautioned to control their supporters to ensure that peace reigns in the state.
The Police PRO said the command would embark on stop and search operation throughout the state to ensure that arms and ammunition were not brought to the state to cause a breakdown of law and order.
Fayemi and his party AC,Â had filed the petition shortly after the election challenging the outcome of the election in six wards of the state namely, Ifaki I and II, Usi and Orin/Ora ward of Ido/Osi and Ipoti A and B of Ijero council.
Respondents in the petition were Governor Segun Oni, PDP, INEC, State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Electoral Officers for Ido/Osi and Ijero Councils, the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police.
The petitioners in the petition had hinged their opposition to the result announced for the disputed wards on two grounds. They argued that Oni was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and that the election and return of Oni was invalid by reasons of corrupt practices and/or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2006.
While presenting their case, the petitioners called 47 witnesses to prove their case while Oni called 67 witnesses. The PDP called 31 witnesses while INEC called 32 witnesses.