The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos, Monday, dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Lagos East senatorial district, Mrs. Olabisi Ayodele Salis, filed against the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bareehu Olugbenga Ashafa.
The petition was dismissed, sequel to an application filed and argued before the tribunal by Barrister Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, leading two other Senior Advocates, Olusina Sofola and Adesegun Ajibola, urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition for failure of the petitioners to apply for issuance of pre-hearing notice within the time prescribed by the rules of the tribunal.
Pinheiro submitted further that, by virtue of paragraph 18 (1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, the petitioners were mandated to apply for the issuance of pre-hearing notice within seven days after filing and service of the petitioners’ reply on the respondents.
Consequently, he applied for order of the tribunal deeming the petition as abandoned, for failure of the petitioners to apply for the issuance of pre-hearing session notice within the time stipulated by the rules of the tribunal.
In the counter-affidavit filed by Dr. Yemi Oke, he contended that the petitioners duly complied with the requirement of the law in applying for the issuance of the pre-hearing notice, and contrary to the deposition of the respondent, he failed to take into account the period of the service of the petitioners’ reply to the respondents in calculating the period within which the pre-hearing notice forms ought to have been issued.
In his verdict, the tribunal upheld the submission of Ashafa’s counsel, Mr. Pinheiro that the petitioners ought to have filed their application for issuance on pre-hearing session forms on May 25, 2015, and not on May 26, 2015, as done.
The tribunal also held that the failure of the petitioners to comply with the mandatory provisions of electoral act was fatal to its petition; hence, same had been abandoned by the petitioners.
Consequently, the tribunal dismissed the PDP Senatorial candidate, Mrs. Olabisi Salis’s petition.


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