The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, on Thursday granted an “exparte motion” filed by petitioners challenging the April 11 Assembly election in Oye Local Government Area in Ekiti State to inspect materials used in the elections. The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice A. Erahor, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the petitioners, Mobolaji Adeyeye and APC access to the election materials. NAN reports that the election materials were being kept by the INEC. Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Anthony Adeniyi, at Monday’s pre-hearing sitting over the matter had sought an order, ordering INEC through to allow for the petitioners to inspect the materials used for the election. He said that the motion was in pursuance to Section 20, Paragraph 7 of the first schedule in the Electoral Act 2010, as amended. Adeniyi told the tribunal that, his client, Mobolaji Adeyeye, contested on the platform of APC, while Dr. Samuel Omotoso, contested on the platform of the PDP. INEC, however, declared Omotoso of the PDP, winner of the election, which the petitioner’s counsel claimed was marred with irregularities characterised by invalid votes. Counsel to the first and second respondents, (Omotoso and PDP) , Mr Jude Ogodi prayed the court to grant an order for his clients to be present during the inspection exercise. Counsel to the INEC, Mr Zakari Garuba, promised to carry out the court’s order. NAN reports that, no fewer than 36 witnesses will be called during hearing in the matter. The petitioners’ counsel told the court that, he would be calling 17 witnesses, while the INEC’s counsel said he would call 19. Justice Erahor after listening to arguments and counter-arguments, granted the relief sought by Mr Jude Ogodi and adjourned to June 29, 30 and July 1 for hearing.
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