20 February 2013

Nigeria: Ondo Election Tribunal - ACN Tenders 18 Sacks of Documents

Akure — THE Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ondo State, Tuesday, began proper hearing of the petition filed by the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, against the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the last governorship election in the state.

Documents tendered by the ACN brought in 18 "Ghana Must Go" sacks included copies of the voters' register used for the October 20 governorship election in the state.

They were subsequently admitted by the tribunal following the granting of the application moved by the party lead counsel Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, to bring in the report of the inspection of the materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, used for the election.

But Lead counsel to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, asked the tribunal to dismiss the application as it did not show by way of affidavit extreme circumstances that could make the tribunal grant the application.

Mimiko's lead Counsel contended that what the ACN wanted to tender as additional evidence were documents that were in the possession of the petitioner before the tribunal granted the order for inspection of the INEC materials used for the election.

Supporting Olanipekun, the counsel to Labour Party (LP), Yusuf Ali, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the application as it was bereft of any substance.

Ali submitted that it was the proper time for the court to scrutinise the written deposition of the proposed witnesses to enable the tribunal know whether they were within its order.

But Olujimi in his reply, said the application was filed within the pre-trial period and that all authorities cited by the respondents were irrelevant.

Olujimi argued that the order of the court did not ask those that participated in the inspection to sign an attendance register, adding that the order did not also ask the people to analyse the INEC's documents at the state headquarters of the commission.

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