By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—EDO State Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin, yesterday, granted the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Young Democratic Party, YDP, leave to serve their petitions by substituted means on the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the governor-elect, Mr Godwin Obaseki.
This came as the state PDP accused the APC of avoiding court papers by locking up its state secretariat .
PDP and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, as well as YDP and its governorship candidate, Nurudeen Inwanfero, in separate petitions before the tribunal, are challenging the outcome of the September 28, 2016 Edo governorship election.
The petitioners in their separate petitions named the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, APC, and Obaseki as first, second and third respondents respectively.
Justice A. Badamasi, is Chairman of the three- member tribunal with Justices E.A. Ade Sodun, and Khadi Adamu Usman as members.
It will be recalled that the tribunal had on October 11, 2016, ordered INEC to allow PDP and its governorship candidate unhindered access to all electoral materials used during the election following an ex-parte motion filed by PDP counsel, Mr. Kingsley Obamogie.
However, yesterday, Obamogie and Mr Ugo Nwofor, counsel to PDP and YDP, in separate exparte motions, filed before the tribunal, alleged that APC and Obaseki were evading service from the court’s bailiff.
They requested the tribunal to grant them leave to serve the respondents by substituted service by pasting all the court processes on the wall or doors of the last known addresses of the respondents.
The tribunal Chairman while granting their prayers, said the court’s order for substituted service was in compliance with section 47 of the electoral Act 2010 ( as Amended).