All Progressives Congress, APC, and Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, have asked the State Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal to again dismiss the petition brought before it by Mega Progressives People’s Party, MPPP.
The petition marked EPT/GOV/ABK/002/2015 was earlier dismissed on July 10, 2015, by the Justice Henry Olusiyi-led panel for being incurably incompetent; but the Supreme Court in an appeal number CS/665/2015 returned same for hearing on consolidated applications and the main petition.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the second respondent (APC), George Oyeniyi moved an application seeking to strike out the petition on grounds of gross incompetence and lack of jurisdiction of the tribunal to determine same.
The application also sought for an order dismissing the petition for failure of the petitioner to apply for the issuance of the pre-hearing session notice within the time stipulated by law.
Oyeniyi explained that the said petition was filed outside the 21 days requirement by Section 285 (5)(6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He also argued that the tribunal had only 180 days to determine the petition and that the motion on notice was filed at the 184th day since the petition was filed on May 25, 2015.
Citing PDP vs Okorocha, 2012, Oyeniyi prayed the court to dismiss the petition, adding that the sitting of the tribunal after 180 days ran foul to constitutional provision.
Lead counsel to the third and fourth respondents (Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga), Seun Ajayi also adopted his application which challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to entertain the petition.
Counsel to the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Adetola Ogunlewe in his oral submission aligned himself with the arguments of other respondents, adding that the petition lacked locus since it was filed outside the time.
Counsel to the petitioner, Omereonye Morgans in his oral submission explained that all issues raised by the second respondent could only be settled through trial and that the preliminary objection raised by the counsel to the third and fourth respondents was bereft of affidavit and should be rejected.