Governorship Election Petition: Tribunal Rejects Oyo PDP’s Application

The application of the Peoples’ Democratic Party to invite officials from the United State’s Embassy to give evidence on the petition filed by the party against the election of Governor Abiola Ajimobi has been turned down by the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ibadan.
In its petition, the PDP had alleged that Governor Ajimobi was not eligible to contest the April 2011 Governorship election because of his dual citizenship. The party claimed that Ajimobi held both Nigerian and American citizenship.
Justice Abdulkadir Mu’azu Pindiga in his ruling however said the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to grant the application because officials of the United States embassy are covered by diplomatic immunity in Nigeria. He therefore ruled that the petitioner should explore other means of pursuing the petition other than relying on the application for subpoena. He went further that granting the application would amount to an exercise in futility which would probably lead to ridiculing the integrity of Nigeria and its judicial process. “We must protect the integrity of our country and not subject the country to the whims and caprices of the United States of America. There are other means by which the petitioner could honourably pursue its case and get the desired result.
The Tribunal does not accede to the application of the petition. It is accordingly rejected because it is an exercise in futility and we lack the jurisdiction”, Jutice Pindiga ruled.
Chief Oke, the PDP’s lead counsel disclosed that the rejection has altered the “evidential procedure” of the petitioner. He therefore applied for adjournment on the grounds that the last witness he wanted to invite, Alhaji Bashiru Akanbi was ill. He also said the document to be produced by the Nigeria Immigration Services in respect of the case was not certified and as such could not be admitted.

Author: NewsAdmin

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