… A/Court president set up tribunal to hear petitions
The APC in Ekiti State has dismissed the news report making the rounds that a court in Abuja has nullified the party’s governorship primary.
The rumour, which was spread on social media and published by several blogs, has it that less than 72 hours to the Saturday governorship election in Ekiti State a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday nullified the APC primary that produced Mr Biodun Oyebanji as its candidate.
The state’s APC Publicity Secretary, Segun Dipe, urged Nigerians, particularly Ekiti people and party members, “to disregard the rumour and discountenance it as the forlorn wish of some desperate politicians in the state which will not come to pass.”
Dipe said in a statement that the party’s governorship candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, remained the leading candidate in Saturday’s election.
He said, “Yes, there were some cases filed by some disgruntled elements regarding the governorship primary we organised in January this year which saw to the emergence of Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as the candidate of our party, but none has gone beyond the preliminary stage, and all of them have been transferred back to Ekiti for hearing.
“No high court is sitting on any matter regarding our primary in Abuja as at today. Furthermore, every matter relating to the primary has been adjourned till September this year. To the best of our knowledge, none is up for hearing at the moment. The only one perhaps is in the wildest imagination of our detractors, which cannot see the light of day. Our party remains focused on the coming election and sure of untainted victory at the end.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has constituted the Ekiti State governorship election tribunal to hear and determine petitions that may arise from the governorship election in the state.
A statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday by the Secretary of the tribunal, Umar Abubakar, revealed that Justice Dongban-Mensem took the action in pursuant to Section 285(ii) and (iii) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended) and Section 130 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The statement reads in part: “The Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Adeleye Adeyeye, has made provisions for the use of the Ekiti State High Court of Justice complex, Pajuyi Park, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, as the venue of the tribunal and its registry/secretariat at the said address.”
In another development, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Johnson Kokumo, said the deployment of 17,000 security operatives for the Ekiti poll was not to intimidate voters, but to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
According to him, the security operatives attached to all politicians and other high-profile personalities will be withdrawn and returned to base for the purpose of the election.
The DIG called on the people to be law abiding and to conduct themselves peacefully.
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa has expressed concern about the imbalance in the distribution of voters to polling units.
Yiaga, at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti yesterday by its Executive Director, Samson Itodo, said based on INEC’s final list of polling units, there were 75 polling units with over 1,000 registered voters, 11 with over 2,000 voters and one polling unit with 3,429 registered voters.
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