Law News
Tribunal grants Yobe PDP gov candidate access to INEC materials
The Yobe State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday granted the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the April 11, 2015 poll, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, permission to inspect the materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the poll.
The tribunal headed by Justice Mojisola Dada, granted the order for inspection of the polling materials in her ruling on an ex parte application filed by Waziri, through his counsel, Folashade Aofolaju.
Justice Dada was the only member of the panel in attendance during the proceedings which were solely scheduled for hearing the petitioners’ ex parte application.
The tribunal has yet to fix the date for its inaugural sitting.
Waziri and the PDP are through their joint petition challenging the victory of the incumbent governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, of the All Progressives Congress, in the election.
INEC had  declared that Gaidam won the election with 334,847‎ votes defeating Waziri, who polled 179,700 votes.
During the pre-hearing session on Wednesday, Aofolaju informed the tribunal of the pending ex parte application dated April 30, 2015.
She said the ex parte application filed in accordance with the provisions of section 151 of the Electoral Act and section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, allowed the petitioners to seek the prayers contained in the application even before filing their petitions.
She said, “The application is seeking an order allowing the petitioners to =inspect all materials related to or concerning the conduct of the Yobe State governorship election held on April 11, 2015.
“We urge your Lordship to grant our prayers so that we can prosecute and maintain the petition we have filed before this honourable court.”
She urged the court to strike our prayer 6 in the application which sought an order for the recounting of ballot papers used for the election.
She informed the court that she had since realised that such prayer could not be sought through an ex parte application unless the respondents to the petition were put on notice.
Aofolaju said she had therefore filed a motion on notice to ask for the recounting of the ballot papers.
The lawyer said, “We urge your Lordship to strike out prayer 6. We have realised that we cannot ask for such prayer without putting the respondents on notice.
“We have therefore filed a separate motion on notice with regard to that prayer.”
Justice Dada after hearing the lawyer granted five prayers sought relating to the inspection of the polling materials and struck out the prayer 6 dealing with recounting of ballot papers.
‎The respondents in the petition are Gaidam, APC, INEC, the Resident Electoral Commission, Yobe State and an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Zakari Deba.
No date was fixed for further proceedings.
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