Politics

OGUN: Labour Party gets Tribunal’s permission to inspect election documents

The Ogun state chapter of Labour Party (LP) has been granted access to the materials and documents used for the conduct of March 9 elections in the state.

This is as the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the party access to the materials.

The panel led by Justice Chinwe Onyeabor also dismissed a petition marked EPT/OG/GOV/02/2019 which was filed by the Oginni Olaposi – led faction of the LP, citing incompetence and abuse of process as reasons for the dismissal.

Also, the tribunal ruled on abuse of process between Olaposi’s faction’s petition and the other petition – EPT/OG/GOV/03/2019 – filed by Abayomi Arabambi as the Chairman of LP and the governorship candidate, Modupe Sanyaolu.

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Both petitions were challenging the unlawful exclusion of LP and its logo from the ballot during the March 9 election, hence demanded nullification of the poll.

Justice D.A Oyigbenu, while reading the ruling said that the tribunal held that the first petitioner failed to meet up with the requirement of filing the petition within specified 21 days, due to late payment of security for cost.

The tribunal added that the dismissed petition constituted abuse of process since the third petition had been perfected within the required time frame before the tribunal.

Shortly after the ruling, the governorship candidate’s Counsel, Hassan Balogun moved a motion ex parte, seeking orders of the tribunal to mandate the INEC to grant the petitioners, their agents and experts, access to inspect and obtain the certified true copies of materials and documents used for the conduct of the election.

The inspection, Balogun argued becomes necessary in order to prosecute the petition already filed before the tribunal.

In the ruling read by Justice M L Omar, the tribunal granted the orders as prayed.

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