Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Ondo Tribunal Adjourns to Feb 4

Akure — The Election Petition Tribunal sitting over the governorship election in Ondo State yesterday reserved ruling on the 33 motions brought before it by parties in the petition till February 4, 2013.

At the resumed sitting, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Andovar Kaka'an, also said the pre -trial period for the petitions had been extended by 14 days starting from January 25.

The Accord Party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have filed petitions before the tribunal asking it to declare the victory of Mimiko as null and void.

Four of the motions were moved and argued when the tribunal resumed sitting to listen to the petitions filed by the four political parties over the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the last governorship election.

However, at the resumed hearing of the motions, the Accord Party asked the court to strike out its name from the petition as it did not instruct anybody to file any petition on its behalf.

Counsel to the national leadership of the party, Olubanjo Ayenakin in a motion before the court supported with a nine-paragraph affidavit argued that the party did not instruct Messers Michael Lana to file any petition on its behalf.

He argued that the letter of authority given to Lana was produced by the Ondo state chapter of the party, which, according to him, was not a party before the tribunal.

Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through its counsel, Osaze Uzi, said Section 80 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended gave the national secretariat the power to give directives on the affairs of any political party.

The Labour Party (LP) also supported the motion to strike out the name of Accord Party from the petition, saying the issue was choice of counsel and not change of counsel.

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