The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure on Friday overruled the Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal on five petitions brought before it by the All progressive Congress against the Peoples Democratic Party.
The petition relate to the April 11 House of Assembly elections.
The three-man tribunal had dismissed the APC petitions on the technical grounds that the petitions were filed prematurely.
The tribunal said the counsel to the petitioners applied for form TF 007 being the mandatory pre-hearing notice before the closing of pleading.
According to the tribunal, the application was premature and infringed on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, Paragraph 18(1).
It said the non-compliance had fatal consequences on the petitions as the law did not provide for an extension of time beyond the period stipulated.
It further said failure to comply with the law rendered the petitions “incompetent, invalid and a nullity.”
But delivering judgment on the matter on Friday, Justice Mojeed Owoade returned the cases to the tribunal to be heard on merit.
He held that the the petitions ought to have been treated on merit instead of on technicalities.
Justice Owoade directed that three of the petitions be returned for retrial at the said tribunal, while another panel would be constituted to attend to the other two petitions.
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