Lagos Governorship Election Tribunal Commences Hearing

The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will today commence hearing in the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the last governorship election in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje. Agbaje is challenging the victory of the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode.

The registrar of the Tribunal presided by Justice Muhammad Sirajo said that the date was fixed after notices of hearing were sent to all parties involved.

Agbaje had contested the victory of Ambode as the winner of the April 11, gubernatorial election. He had prayed the Tribunal to grant him access to inspect materials used for the election.

He alleged that the conduct of the poll was marred with some irregularities, which contravened the provisions of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) approved guidelines and statutes.

Joined as respondents in the petition are INEC, APC and the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State.

The tribunal granted Agbaje permission to inspect all polling documents and devices used in the conduct of the election and granted an order directing INEC to provide Certified True Copies of all polling documents, including printed data in each polling unit, from the card reader machines. However, it rejected the request to inspect the polling documents and devices used in the conduct of the March 28 Presidential Election in Lagos State.

Vanguard reports that the tribunal also rejected Agbaje’s Freedom of Information, (FOI) request asking the tribunal to order INEC to produce all polling documents and card reader machines used for the governorship election.

The panel notes that the petitioner can request for materials and documents he deems necessary to his case, by way of subpoena, when the tribunal has fully commenced proceedings.

Ambode won the April 11 governorship election in Lagos State, but the PDP said it was marred by irregularities, hence Agbaje’s decision to challenge the election.

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