The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Tuesday granted a request by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Segun Oni, to be allowed to inspect the electoral materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the June 18 election.
The three-member panel led by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, with Justice Sa’ad Zadawa and Justice Jacob Atsen as members, also granted an application for an order of substituted service of court processes on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor-elect as well as his running mate, Daily Independent reports.
Recall that Oni had through his legal team represented by Obafemi Adewale (SAN), filed an application for an order, “permitting the applicant or its agents for the purpose of prosecuting its petition to take certified true copies and conduct manual/physical inspection of all electoral materials used in the conduct of the election into the office of the governor of Ekiti State held on June 18 in the 16 local governments.”
In the suit, the SDP candidate also sought “an order of leave to effect the service of the petitioner and other processes in the proceedings on the 1st, 3rd and 5th respondents by substituted means, through the national secretary or any other officer of the APC at 40, Blantyre Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja FCT.”
Also, on July 7, Oni approached the Ekiti State Governorship Tribunal sitting on the premises of the State High Court, Ado-Ekiti to challenge Oyebanji’s victory in the June 18 governorship poll.
The SDP candidate in his petition called for the reversal of the declaration of the APC candidate as the winner of the poll and declared him the winner, claiming that he scored the highest number of lawful votes in the poll.
He prayed the tribunal to in the alternative nullify the election and order a rerun in view of the alleged widespread irregularities that fraught the election.
On Tuesday, Justice Kpochi, while delivering the panel’s ruling said the grounds granted are the pillars that support the Oni’s petition to continue the petition submitted before the tribunal.
Justice Kpochi noted that they found merit in the motion ex-parte and ordered INEC to give unhindered access to the petitioner to inspect the electoral materials, which included BVAS, all ballot papers, voters’ registers, among others.
Saharareporters, new York