By Alexandra Oladipo
Abuja – The Ekiti Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, will on Saturday, Sept. 29 rule on the application filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), seeking recount of the ballot papers used for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.
The PDP and its candidate, Prof. Olusola Kolapo, had dragged the respondents to the tribunal challenging the outcome of the governorship election.
The respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the winner of the election, Kayode Fayemi.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Bolaji Belgore, adjourned until Sept.29, after listening to the arguments of counsel.
The petitioners’ counsel, Sunday Olowolafe (SAN), urged the tribunal to grant the application because “it has the inherent powers to do so.’’
Accounting to him, the ballot papers are relevant for the purpose of maintaining the case of the petitioners.
He said granting the petitioners’ prayers would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy as well as its electoral jurisprudence.
INEC’s counsel, Chief Charles Uwensuyi (SAN),in his response, said that recounting the ballot papers was the responsibility of the electoral body.
He stated that the petitioners had not established that they have a right to recount the ballot papers, adding that the idea behind the application is strange to law.
The INEC counsel noted that though the ballot papers were relevant, they ought to be admitted first before the tribunal can act on them.
He argued that the petitioners’ application sought to bypass the Practice Direction and urged the tribunal to dismiss it.
Other counsel in the respondents’ team aligned themselves with the submission of INEC counsel.