Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja has granted leave for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to inspect electoral materials used in the conduct of the recent governorship election in the state.
The Chairman of the three-member tribunal panel, Justice Halima Mohammed, flanked by Justice Patricia Ajoku and Justice Ogbogo Ejembi, granted the exparte motion at the first sitting of the tribunal on Monday in Lokoja.
However, Mohammed issued a consequential order that all the respondents in the petition be served with the tribunal’s order for them to be present during the inspection at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office in Lokoja.
Chief Chris Uche, SAN, leading two other senior advocates and about 10 attorneys for the PDP had sought in the application filed on January 9, an order of the tribunal to inspect materials used in the conduct of the governorship election in the custody of INEC.
He said the motion supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit and deposed to by one S.M. John-Mark was in line with section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The petition filed by the incumbent governor and PDP’s flag bearer in the governorship election, Capt. Idris Wada, has the All Progressives Congress, APC, INEC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello as respondents.
It was also gathered that the tribunal granted six exparte motions for substituted service of petitions and other court processes on the Kogi governor-elect, Bello who is a respondent in all the petitions.
In their separate motions seeking the leave of the tribunal, Uche of PDP, Jibrin Okwutepa, SAN, (APC); Reuben Egwaba, Labour Party (LP) and I.K. Idota of Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA) sought an order of the tribunal for substituted service on the governor-elect.
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) lawyers also sought the tribunal’s order to serve the petitions and other court processes at Yahaya Bello’s last known address, the APC Secretariat or the Notice Board of the tribunal.
Each of their motions was supported by an affidavit, saying that all attempts by the bailiff of the tribunal to serve the respondent failed.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chris Uche, SAN, who spoke on behalf of the Bar drew the attention of the tribunal to the essence of time in expeditious determination of the petitions, saying the case in Kogi was “narrow and novel.”
He said that the world was waiting for the judiciary to apply its wisdom to save the country out of the political logjam, adding that the scenario was new and never contemplated in the nation’s democratic experiment.
The tribunal later adjourned to January 21 for further hearing.

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