By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, approved the prayers of the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in the July 14 poll, Kolapo Olusola to serve notice of Petition on Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Olusola is challenging the declaration of the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Fayemi as winner of the governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at the tribunal.
The Tribunal order came on the heels of an affidavit by the Bailiff of the Tribunal that he could not effect personal service of the Petition to the second and third Respondents, who are APC and Fayemi respectively as the party’s office in Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti had been shut, while the third Respondent, is currently out of the country.
The PDP, through its legal team, led by Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed a motion exparte pursuant to paragraphs 8 (2), 47 (1), ( 2), and 54 of the Electoral Act , 2010( as amended), Order 6, rule 5 of the Federal High Court.
The exparte, as moved by Obafemi Adewale, (Esq) who represented the petitioners, sought the following:
“An order of the Honourable Tribunal granting leave to the Petitioners/Applicants to bring this application before the pre-hearing session and to hear and determine same accordingly,” among others.
“An Order for substituted service of the Petition and other processes filed by the Petitioners/Applicants in this Petition on the 2nd and 3rd Respondents, Olukayode John Fayemi by substituted means to wit: By delivering the Petition and other processes filed by the Petitioners to any of the officials or members of staff of the 2nd Respondent at the Ekiti State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress, Ekiti Stay Secretariat, situated at No 156, Ajilosun Street, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, among others.
In its ruling, the Tribunal granted prayer(s) 2 (a), (c) and (d) as contained in the motion exparte which is to paste the Petition and accompany processes at a conspicuous place in the premises of the Tribunal in Ado Ekiti, and as well send same via a registered courier service to the National Headquarters of the APC in Abuja.
The Tribunal however didn’t grant the service of Petition notice to the APC Secretariat in Ajilosun in Ado Ekiti as it noted that the office had been shut.