Ondo Election Petition Tribunal Begins Inaugural Sitting

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

The Ondo State 2020 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has held its inaugural sitting at the State High Court in Akure.

In his inaugural address, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abubakar Umar, disclosed that there are three petitions filed before the tribunal.

He asked all parties involved to avail the Tribunal all the support needed to enable them to succeed in the assignment.

Justice Umar also appealed to the legal representatives to maintain a cordial relationship with the Tribunal members,  adding that there should be no private or official communication between any member of the tribunal and legal representatives.

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The tribunal Chairman called on the legal teams to pursue their cases diligently, noting that video coverage of the tribunal proceedings is prohibited according to the law.

He also called on all media professionals to always abide by the rules of the law and the tribunal.

The PDP candidate in the election, Eyitayo Jegede is challenging the election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities and pockets of violence and intimidation.

Joined in the petition by Jegede are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

5.2bn Naira Aviation Scam: AGF’s Request Stalls Trial Of Borishade, Others

EFCC on BorishadeHearing on a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borishade and four others, has been stalled on the request of the Attorney General of the Federation for a brief on the matter.

Mr Borishade and four others were to appear before Justice Abubakar Umar of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, both parties were present in court, but Justice Umar informed them that the matter could not go on as planned, as the AGF had requested for a brief on the case by the EFCC since the matter had been in court for about seven years.

“He presented a letter dated February 2 from the AGF requesting for an adjournment of the case and records of court proceedings so far.

“Counsel to the EFCC, Chile Okoroma, told the court that his hands were tied with regards to continuing the proceeding, as the AGF, being the Chief Law Officer, has power over him,” the statement read.

The statement further read that Mr Okoroma said that “under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and Section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF has the power to take over, continue or discontinue a case”.

Counsel to the first defendant, Kehinde Ogunwumiju and Regina Okotie- Eboh, representing the 4th and 5th defendants, who had initially sought for a dismissal of the case which was earlier slated for ruling on Wednesday, could not have their applications taken as a result of the letter from the AGF.

Justice Umar adjourned the case to February 17, 2016 for ruling and continuation of hearing pending the decision of the AGF.

Mr Borishade, his former personal assistant, Tunde Dairo, and two others allegedly mismanaged a 5.2 billion Naira Aviation Safe Tower contract.

Others on trial for the alleged offence are former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi; an Australian, George Eider and Avsatel Communications Limited.

The suspects were arraigned on November 19, 2009 by the EFCC on a 15-count charge of taking bribe and forging aviation contract documents.

Tribunal Extends APC Electoral Material Inspection Time In A/Ibom

Akwa Ibom Tribunal Grants Apc Extension To Inspect Electoral MaterialsThe Akwa Ibom State Election Petition Tribunal has granted the All Progressives Congress (APC) the extension of time to inspect the electoral materials used for the April 11 governorship election.

According to the ruling, which was delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abubakar Umar, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was also ordered to move everything used for the election from Akwa Ibom State, south-south Nigeria, to the Headquarters of the commission within the next 10 days.

The Tribunal also ordered the Inspector General of Police and the Department Of State Services to provide adequate security for the movement of the materials and directed the APC to inspect the materials within 14 days from July 6.

However, Justice Umar reserved ruling in the application questioning the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to move from Akwa Ibom State to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to a date to be communicated to the parties .