The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal hasi granted the prayers of Chief Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to conduct physical inspection of INEC ballot papers used in the June 18 election
Oni is challenging the victory of Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), before the tribunal headed by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, which had its inaugural sitting on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti.
Also joined as respondents in the case are , APC, the APC National Chairman, INEC and the Deputy Governor-elect, Chief Monisola Afuye.
Other members of the tribunal panel are Justice Sa’ad Zadawa (Member 1) and Justice Jacob Atsen (Member 2).
In an ex-parte motion filed, Oni had sought the leave of the tribunal to serve the petition and other processes in the proceeding on the 1st, 3rd and 5th respondents by substituted service through the national secretary or any other official at the party secretariat in Abuja.
The SDP candidate had also prayed the court to grant an order permitting him or his agents to conduct manual/physical inspection of all electoral materials used in the conduct of the governorship election in the 16 local government areas of the state on June 18.
In his ruling on the ex-parte motion, Justice Kpochi, said the grounds are the pillars that support the applicant petitions to continue his petitions at the tribunal.
He said that the tribunal found merit in the motion ex-parte and ordered INEC to give unhindered access to the petitioner to inspect the electoral materials which includes BVAS, all ballot papers, voters register among others.
Earlier in his remarks before the beginning of proceedings, the tribunal chairman had solicited the cooperation of all parties in the election petition tribunal in the state for the success of its assignment, warning that there should be no distractions.
The Solicitor-General in Ekiti State, Mr. Lawrence Ojo, welcome the members of the tribunal to Ekiti and wished them success in their assignment.
Also, Mr. Oluwayomi Ojo, lead Counsel to Oni, expressed optimism that justice would be served at the end of the tribunal’s assignment.
Mr. Femi Falade, Officer in Charge, Legal Department of Police Command in Ekiti, who represented the Commissioner of Police, Mr Moronkeji Adesina, assured that security measures had been put in place to ensure a smooth stay of the justices in Ekiti.
The Petitioner, the SDP candidate, Chief Segun Oni, was presented by a team of lawyers including Messrs Biodun Fasakin, Owoseni Ajayi, Morakinyo Ogele, and others.