The newly constituted Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Osun on Monday begun sitting on petitions and counter petitions filed over the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election in the state.
It would be recalled that the first panel constituted was later disbanded by authority concerned and no reason was seduced for the disbandment of the panel.
But the new panel on Monday commenced sitting on the petitions filed as it ruled on an ex parte applications brought by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to inspect election materials used for the gubernatorial election on Saturday September 22nd and Thursday September 27th 2018 respectively.
Justice Peter Obiora while delivering the ruling on behalf of the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Muhammad Siraju, granted the two applications brought by PDP to substitute order of service of second and third respondents respectively, All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate who is now Governor Elect, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, and order to be in custody of the certified true copy of the inspected materials used for the election.
The two applications were premised on the order of the tribunal to serve the petitions and other processes on the second respondent and third respondent respectively on substituted means and to also move the application before the pre-hearing section.
Justice Peter Obiora, said the tribunal was satisfied with the report of services and there was merit in the application.
He said the tribunal would do justice in its proceedings without any form of bias and intimidation as long as they stayed in Osogbo.
A 12-paragraph affidavit and a writing addresses in support with the affidavit was attached with the ex parte motion brought by the Applicant Counsel.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Nathaniel Oke, SAN, told newsmen after the sitting that the two applications was to allow them served the second respondent (Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola) and third respondents (APC) which had not been successfully served.
Oke said, “The second application was to sort the leave of the tribunal for the purpose of taking certified true copies of the materials used for the election in September 22 and the rerun of September 27 which would be useful as the tribunal continue sitting.
“The Court granted the two applications but with a rider to allow two observers from the other respondents to serve as mere watchers or lookers when inspecting the election materials,” he said.
Besides, the second respondent, Gboyega Oyetola had also sought the order of the tribunal for four relief among which was to access, inspect all ballot papers in the custody of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) or any other persons.
Justice Obiora, however, orders that two persons each from the respondents would be allowed to serve as mere observers during the inspection by the PDP counsels.