The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Saturday granted Counsels to the first applicant in the case of the governorship election, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP), the leave of the Court compelling the first respondent in the petition, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to allow access to materials and all document used in the conduct of the 11th gubernatorial election in the State.
The order followed an application filled be S.E Aruwa SAN expressing inability to access documents mainly 42 items used in the conduct of the election to proceed with his case.
According to Aruwa, all efforts to access such documents both at INEC office in Abuja and Lokoja has proved abortive hence the need for an order of the Tribunal to proceed with the case.
The Presiding Tribunal Judge, Justice Yusuf Ado Birnin-Kudu said the application is meritorious in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as ammended and the Electoral Law 2023.
He granted the application that the first Respondent INEC allow access by Counsels to Muritala Ajaka of the SDP led by John Adele, SAN, and SE Aruwa SAN, to certified copies used for the governorship election within two days.
Also the chairman of the Tribunal granted the prayers of John Adele SAN, to the effect of compelling INEC to also within 48 hours access to BVAS and other electronic materials used.
Speaking after the ruling, lead Counsel to Muritala Ajaka and SDP, John Adele SAN expressed optimism that INEC will comply with the ruling of the Tribunal.
The Tribunal adjourned sitting to Wednesday next week for continuation of hearing of the case.