Ekiti Election Tribunal Rejects PDP’s Request to Use Soldiers in the Inspection of Election Materials
The Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti today rejected a surbodinate motion exparte filed by the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) asking for the tribunal’s approval to use member of the Nigeria Army, (Soldiers), in the inspection of INEC’s electoral materials used for the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti state.
The PDP, in a bid to pursue it’s defense against the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the victory of the the Governor-Elect, Ayo Fayose requires the tribunal’s approval for inspection of the material to prepare it defence. It however filed a motion requesting to use soldiers in the inspection, a motion the tribunal rejected.
In its ruling, the tribunal court argued that, the use of Soldier in any election is not a productive conduct but a characteristic insignia of intimidation.
The three-man panel, chaired by Justice Muhammad Sirajo, therefore granted the order following an exparte application by their counsel, Dolapo Kolade, which was brought pursuant to Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.
He, however, declined an order directing the security agencies to be present during the inspection, saying “such order is not within the purview of this tribunal since it is the duty of INEC to provide same during such exercise. So no order of tribunal is needed for this.”
It would be recalled that, the All Progressives Congress, APC had last week filed similar motion exparte for the inspection of the material which the court granted.
Speaking shortly after the ruling of the Tribunal, a chieftain of the APC who spoke to Abusidiqu under the condition of anonymity said the request of the PDP to use soldiers in the inspection of electoral materials is an indictment of the way they assaulted the process of the last Governorship election in Ekiti where some APC leaders were whisked, detained and also giving house arrest.
“May be they want to hide under the cover of soldiers to destroy some of the materials that will expose the way they rigged the election,” he said.
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