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Tribunal grants Oni’s application for substituted service, others

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
27 July 2022   |   2:49 am
The Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti has granted the two applications of the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Segun Oni, to serve the governor-elect,

[files] Segun Oni

The Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti has granted the two applications of the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Segun Oni, to serve the governor-elect, Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji and the other four respondents to the petition by substituted means, as well as for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant him access to election materials.

Oni is also challenging the victory of Oyebanji at the governorship polls.

The tribunal, which had its inaugural sitting, yesterday, was led by Justice Wilfred Kpochi as chairman, and Justices Sa’ad Zadawa and Jacob Atsen as members.

Kpochi, who read the judgment, said the grounds are the pillars that support the applicant’s application to continue his petitions at the tribunal.

The tribunal, therefore, granted the prayers of the SDP candidate’s motion ex-parte, including “an order of leave to effect the service of the petitioner and other processes in the proceedings on the first, third and fifth respondents by substituted means, through the national secretary or any other officer of the APC at No. 40, Blantyre Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja.

Also, the tribunal granted another prayer 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 electoral materials used for the election.

Earlier at the inaugural session, Justice Kpochi solicited the cooperation of all parties at the election petitions tribunal for successful proceedings, warning that there should be no distractions.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, the Solicitor-General in Ekiti State, Mr. Lawrence Ojo, welcomed the tribunal justices to Ekiti and wished them a successful deliberation while one of the counsel to the applicant, Mr. Oluwayomi Ojo, on behalf of the petitioner, wished the justices a good stay but believed that justice would be served at the end of the tribunal.

Also, Mr. F.D. Falade, O.C. Legal Police, who represented the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Moronkeji Adesina, noted that all security measures had been put in place to ensure a smooth stay of the justices in Ekiti.