A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Ikeja - The Lagos State Governorship
Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday granted Mr Jimi Agbaje leave to inspect
all polling materials and documents used in the April 11 governorship election
in the state.
Agbaje was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship
candidate in the election in which the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) declared Mr Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress
as the winner.
The three-man tribunal, led by Justice Muhammad Sirajo, gave
the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte filed by Agbaje's counsel, Mr
The tribunal also ordered INEC to provide certified true
copies of all polling documents, including printed data from the card reader
machine, in each polling unit.
However, the tribunal rejected Agbaje's request to inspect
the polling documents and devices used in the conduct of the March 28
Presidential Election in Lagos State.
Also read: Agbaje challenges Ambode's victory at election tribunal
Sirajo noted that the tribunal was set up solely to hear and
determine the petitions relating to the governorship election.
"The tribunal does not have the power to make an order
for the inspection of the documents and devices used for the presidential
election. It is hereby refused," he added.
The tribunal also rejected Agbaje's application, pursuant to
the Freedom of Information Act, seeking an order to compel INEC to produce all
polling documents, and card reader machines used for the governorship election.
According to the panel, the petitioner can request for
materials and documents it deemed necessary to his case by way of subpoena when
the tribunal has fully commenced proceedings.
The judge noted that the respondents should be given the
statutory time to file their replies to the petitioner's originating summons,
adding that notices would be sent to parties for the pre-hearing conference.
It is reported that Agbaje had
petitioned the tribunal over the election which he lost to Ambode of the All
Progressives Congress (APC).
Agbaje had alleged some irregularities during the election
which he said contravened the provisions of INEC approved guidelines for the
The respondents in the suit are : INEC, Ambode, APC and the
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State.