Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Election Petitions Tribunal on Tuesday, granted Mr Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Bernard Odoh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), leave to inspect documents used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the March 18 governorship election.
The permission was sequel to two separate ex parte applications filed by Odii and Odoh, who came second and third respectively in the governorship election won by Francis Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ọdịị and Odoh are alleging substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 in addition to violence and rigging which they claimed marred the conduct and outcome of the election.
They had in separate statements after the election vowed to challenge the outcome of the results in court.
They had approached the Tribunal for permission to inspect the materials used by INEC in the conduct of the election.
Odoh’s lawyer, Ubah Chukwu, in arguing the motion prayed the court to grant the ex parte application brought before it pursuant to Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 4 of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution.
The application which was predicated on grounds, sought for reliefs, adding that a schedule of the documents to interrogate the respondent (INEC) was also contained in the application supported by an affidavit.
Counsel to the applicant adopted all the averments contained in the affidavit and urged the Court to grant the application.
In the other application, Odii’s lawyer, Adams Opoke holding brief for Chris Uche (SAN), also prayed the appellate court to grant the reliefs sought in the motion ex parte in the interest of justice.
He stated that the motion was brought pursuant to Section 86 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended Section 146 of the Electoral Act 2022 and paragraphs 47 of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022 under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court.
Opoke also informed the Court that they had deposed an affidavit and were relying on all the averments therein in urging the court to grant the application.
After listening to the applicants, the presiding judge, Lekan Ogunmoye, subsequently granted the request of the two applicants.