Grants Oni’s request for substituted service, inspection of election materials

The three-member Election Petitions Tribunal for the June 18 Ekiti governorship election on Tuesday began sitting in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Wilfred Kpochi, flanked by the two other judges, Justices Sa’ad Zadawa and Jacob Atsen, who cautioned against distractions, solicited the cooperation of all parties in the electoral dispute in the state for successful proceedings.

Social Democratic Party governorship candidate, Chief Segun Oni, dissatisfied with the result of the election as the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Abiodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress winner, had approached the tribunal for redress.

The SDP governorship candidate,in the petition, urged the court to declare the authentic winner, saying he scored the highest number of valid votes.

However, at the inaugural sitting, the panel granted two prayers of the SDP candidate, Oni.

Oni, who had complained that Oyebanji and some other defendants were evading service, had sought an order of the tribunal for substituted service, which the panel granted, saying granting the order was necessary for adjudication in the matter.

The tribunal, in its ruling on the second application, ordered INEC to give Oni unfettered access to the materials used for the election for inspection “to prosecute their matter”.

The SDP candidate, Oni, was represented by a team of lawyers including Biodun Fasakin, Owoseni Ajayi and Marakinyo Ogele.

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