The Ogun state governorship election petition tribunal has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant Adekunle Akinlade, candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), access to the documents used for the conduct of March 9 election in the state.
A three-man panel led by Chinwe Onyeabor, presiding judge, gave the order at its inaugural sitting following an ex parte motion filed by Akinlade and his party, on Monday.
Akinlade was the preferred candidate of Ibikunle Amosun, incumbent governor of the state.
In the petition marked EPT/06/GOV/01/2019, Akinlade challenged the victory of Dapo Abiodun, governor-elect of the state, and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which were joined as second and third respondents.
Mamman Osuman, petitioners’ counsel, who appeared with Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the tribunal that the order was necessary to allow the applicants access the electoral documents “with a view to maintaining the petition already filed before the tribunal.”
Osuman said the application was brought pursuant to section 151 sub-section 1 and 2 of the electoral act 2010.
Among other prayers sought were, “An order directing the 1st Respondent to forthwith grant access to the Petitioners/Applicants and their Solicitors, agents, experts and other staff to inspect, photocopy, scan, pay for and obtain certified copies of all documents used by the 1st Respondent for the conduct of the Ogun State Governorship Election held on 9th of March, 2019, for the purpose of instituting and maintaining Election Petition; the said documents being the ones contained in the schedule attached to the Supporting Affidavit to this application.”
The tribunal adjourned the matter till April 9 for confirmation of service.
Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to defeat Akinlade, who secured 222,153, leaving a margin of 19,517 votes.
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