The CPC had to withdraw some paragraphs from its petition.
The petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Soji Ehinlanwo, against the victory of the Labour Party flag bearer, Olusegun Mimiko, in the last governorship poll suffered a major setback, Monday, at the Election Petition Tribunal.
A 20-paragraph application filed by his counsel, Segun Ogodo, for the tribunal’s leave to inspect and make photocopies of both used and purportedly used election materials was questioned by the counsel to other parties in the petition.
He had also in the application urged INEC to make available security reports by the State Security Service (SSS), Police and other security agencies on the conduct of the election as well as all electronic materials on violence during the poll.
Mr. Mimiko’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, quoting from the Black Law Dictionary, described the word purported to mean ‘being rumoured’ ‘in the figment of imagination’ ‘make belief’ saying that in this instance, INEC cannot produce what it does not have and prayed the tribunal to expunge six paragraphs from the application.
Labour Party’s lead counsel, Yusuf Alli, SAN, also objected to the demand of security reports from INEC. Sounding comical in his submission, Mr. Alli said “since the petitioner is asking for security reports from INEC, I think our friend should have Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the matter and asked them to produce security reports. The law cannot command impossibility. The onus is on the petitioner to prove his case that there was violence during the election.”
INEC’s lead counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, prayed for total dismissal of the application for incompetence and described some of the paragraphs in the application as frivolous.
After these submissions, Mr. Egodo concurred that the offending paragraphs 2, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 41 be expunged from the application.
The three-man tribunal, headed by Ahmed Kaka’n, therefore expunged the paragraphs, granted the prayer for joint inspection by all parties and adjourned the pre-trial of the petitions of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Peoples Democratic Congress, and Accord Party to January 10, 2013.
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