Ibadan - The Oyo State Governorship
Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan on Thursday fixed June 23 to begin
pre-hearing session in a petition filed by Sen. Rashidi Ladoja against the
victory of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi.
Ladoja of Accord Party is challenging the declaration of
Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor in the April 11
election in Oyo State.
Also joined in the petition are APC, Dr Rufus Akeju, INEC’s
Resident Electoral Commissioner , and the commission itself.
The tribunal, headed by Justice F.C. Obieze, said that a lot
of time had been wasted as a result of difficulty in serving the parties.
Obieze said that some of the parties were yet to file some
of their processes and ordered that this should be done on or before June 22.
He said that the tribunal would not entertain any
application for extension of time to file any process.
Also read: Oyo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal seeks cooperation
The judge also said that there was no technicality in
election petition cases and therefore the outcome would be based on merit.
Obieze said that the hours of proceedings of the tribunal
would be different from that of regular courts and asked the counsel to agree
on convenient time to start each day.
The lead counsel to Ladoja and Accord Party, Mr Richard
Ogunwole (SAN), and counsel to Ajimobi, Mr Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said whatever
time the court fixed would be okay.
However, the counsel to APC, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN)
and INEC’s counsel, Mr Adeboye Sobanjo, differed and suggested 10.00 a.m. for
the court to begin sitting.
They also urged the court to allow an hour for break between
2.30p.m. and 3.30p.m., except on Fridays when it would be between 1.30 p.m. and
2.30p.m., which the tribunal agreed to.