The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja has granted counsels to the first applicant in the case of the governorship election petition, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the leave of the Court to allow access to materials and all documents used in the conduct of November 11 gubernatorial election.
Justice Yusuf Ado Birnin-Kudu gave the order on Saturday, compelling the first respondent in the petition, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to comply within 24hours.
The order followed an application filled by S.E Aruwa SAN , a counsel to the plaintiff, who expressed his inability to access the documents, mainly 42 items, to proceed with his case.
According to Aruwa, all efforts to access the documents at INEC offices in Abuja and Lokoja had proved abortive.
In his preliminary ruling, Justice Birnin-Kudu said the application was meritorious in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended and the Electoral Law 2023.
He therefore granted the application that the first respondent allow John Adele (SAN), and S E Aruwa (SAN), counsels to Ajaka and SDP, certified copies of documents used for the governorship election within two days.
“The order is in compliance with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) and with the Electoral Act (2022). INEC is hereby ordered to produce all the documents being sought by the plaintiffs within 48 hours to enable proceedings to go smoothly and without hitches”, the Tribunal ruled.
Equally, the Tribunal granted the prayers of Adele to compel INEC to also grant him access to Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other electronic materials used within 48 hours.