INEC Tenders Documents Against SDP, Ajaka’s Petition

Observe Party Primaries As You Do For Elections, INEC Tells CSOs

INEC Tenders Documents Against SDP, Ajaka’s Petition

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has tendered electoral documents against the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Murtala Ajaka, challenging the election victory of Governor Usman Ododo.

INEC’s counsel, Uchenna Njoku, who held the brief of Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) tendered the documents before the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

However, the SDP and its governorship candidate in the poll are challenging the declaration of Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the poll.

In the petition, INEC, Ododo and APC are listed as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.

Some of the documents tendered yesterday by the commission’s lawyer before the three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, include INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the Election; INEC Manuals for Electoral Officers and INEC Form EC8C.

Others include INEC Form EC8B; INEC Form EC8E; list of accredited agents for SDP; list of accredited ward agents; receipts of payment for forms, among others.

After the documents were tendered, Justice Birnin-Kudu admitted them as evidence and marked them as exhibits.

Njoku then applied for an adjournment to enable the electoral umpire present its witnesses on the next adjourned date.

The judge adjourned the matter until April 16 for continuation of hearing.

Earlier, Justice Birnin-Kudu, who observed that the SDP’s petition would elapse on May 29, said there was the need to amend the number of days earlier given for the 2nd and 3rd respondents to present their case and for the filing of the final written addresses of the parties.

He, therefore, reduced the number of days to five instead of the earlier 10 days given for the respondents’ lawyers to present their case.

He assured that where five days would not be enough, the panel would not hesitate to give additional more days.

He solicited for the cooperation of the parties.

But APC’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) pleaded with the tribunal not to reduce the earlier days given to prepare their defence.

Ukala, who pledged the cooperation of the respondents in ensuring timely completion of their case, pleaded that the order on the schedule for hearing should not be amended.

The panel, however, clarified that the amendment to the order was done off record.

 

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