Tribunal begins sitting, seeks security for judges, lawyers
The Election Petition Tribunal on Monday held its inaugural sitting in Ado Ekiti and called for adequate security for the Judges and Lawyers.
The tribunal, which will determine the fate of six petitions from the All Progressive Congress (APC) about the alleged infractions in the last Senatorial and State House of Assembly elections also warned interested parties against smear campaign against any of its members.
The three-man panel, headed by Justice A. N. Erahor and has Justices A.T. Lamina and P. A. Obayi as members.
Mr A. K. Olanrewaju , led the team of Lawyers to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) the petitioner, while the PDP legal team was led by the party’s State Legal Adviser, Barrister Kolapo Kolade.
The APC senatorial candidates in Ekiti South and North respectively in the last general elections, Senator Tony Adeniyi and Ambassador Gbenga Olofin are challenging the victories of Mrs Biodun Olujimi and Fatimat Raji-Rasaki in the National Assembly election. The party is also contesting elections in four State constituencies.
In his inaugural speech, Justice Erahor described the assignment as a critical and crucial national assignment that must be diligently prosecuted.
He called on the parties to be cognizance of the fact that it has a total of 180 days to dispense justice on the matters in line with section 285 of the 1999 constitution.
Justice Erahor assured that the Tribunal would handle all matters dispassionately and be impartial arbiters throughout the period the matters will be heard.
“If you notice any infraction in the course of the proceeding, just call our attention to it. We don’t want any frivolous allegation against any of the members of this Tribunal.
“Nobody has monopoly of knowledge, I expect everybody to play his role professionally so that all the issues can be handled firmly and fairly.
“The Supreme Court has set a time frame of 180 days in line with Section 285 subsections 6 and 7 of the 1999 constitution. This law is sacrosanct because of the suo generic nature of the election petition and it is on this basis that we have to avoid unnecessary distraction.