Court Grants INEC Extension of Time to File Response on Ekiti Governorship Tussle

The Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, Tuesday, granted first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), extension of time to enable it respond to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the July 14 governorship election in the state, Professor Olusola Kolapo,
In the petition filed before the tribunal, the petitioners are challenging the declaration of Dr. Kayode Kayode of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the election.
Joined in the petition as respondents, aside INEC, are the APC and the winner of the election, Dr Fayemi.
At Tuesday’s sitting, in Abuja, counsel for INEC, Charles Edosan Uwensuyi (SAN), informed the court that the electoral body would call 60 witnesses to testify for it in the substative suit.
He, however, moved an application for extension of time to enable the first respondent in the matter respond to the petition filed by the petitioners.
The application was, however, granted by the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the motion to recount the ballot papers used for the Ekiti governorship election is scheduled for September 27 (Thursday)
The tribunal, chaired by Justice Suleiman Belgore, yesterday fixed Thursday to hear the motion as it began its sitting in Abuja, following its relocation to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The change of venue was necessitated by allegation by some PDP members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly that they were attacked by supporters of the APC at the tribunal sitting venue.
The motion, filed by Yusuf Ali (SAN), counsel for the petitioners is seeking the leave of the tribunal to recount the papers with a view to determining the actual scores of each candidate in the election.
On his part, counsel for the APC, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), said there is need for minor amendment of the documents tendered by the party.
Lateet Fagbemi (SAN), who is representing the governor-elect, Dr Fayemi, said all documents needed by the third respondent in the petition have been filed.
While some motions bordering on jurisdiction were deferred till later date, it was agreed that three days will be for pre-hearing. The petitioners were given 14 days to address the court, while the respondents will be taking 10 days.
Proper hearing of the petition will commence October 17

Author: News Editor

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