Ekiti Tribunal begins sitting as APC alleges plot to burn INEC office
The Election Petitions Tribunal set up to hear grievances relating to the June 21 Governorship Election in Ekiti State yesterday began sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Mohammad Siraj of the Federal High Court, Jos Division, was the only Judge who appeared at the inaugural sitting on the premises of the High Court complex.
A motion ex-parte filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow it (the APC) inspect the materials used for the conduct of the election was struck out by Justice Siraj on the party’s request.
APC’s counsel said it withdrew the petition because events had overtaken the demand, adding that the parties joined in the application were different from the parties in the substantive petition filed against the respondents’ action for the withdrawal.
Although the APC lead counsel, Alhaji Lateef Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was absent at the inaugural sitting, he was represented by Kabir Akingbolu.
Security was strengthened around the premises of the High Court. Armed policemen barricaded the courts entrances including the dual carriageway facing the court.
The state APC said it has uncovered a plot to burn the INEC office in Ado-Ekiti.
The party, in a statement, said: “We have it from reliable source that plans are being hatched to have ‘strange fire’ occurrence at the INEC office in Ado Ekiti and all the materials relating to the just concluded election will get burnt. The fire incidence would be blamed on some faulty power surge. But why would any person or persons want to set the ballot papers of a ‘free and fair’ election on fire, especially now that the APC has decided to test the result with the tribunal? Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”