Omission of Party Name: NNPP Drags INEC To Court 

The New Nigeria People’s Party, has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission before the Ogun State Tribunal over an alleged omission of the party’s name on the ballot papers used for the governorship and assembly elections held last Saturday. 

NNPP also dragged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dapo Abiodun, and the party as respondents in the petition filed before the tribunal. 

The party on Tuesday filed a Motion Ex parte seeking an order of the court to move the motion before the pre-hearing session of the tribunal.

NNPP also prayed the court to direct INEC to grant the party access to inspect, photocopy, scan, pay for, and obtain certified true copies of all the documents used in the conduct of the governorship election held on March 18, 2023. 

NNPP insisted in the ground of application sighted by our correspondent that the party lodge a petition with the tribunal because it was dissatisfied with the outcome of the election. 

The party further said, “The documents and materials sought to be relied upon by the applicant before the Tribunal in establishing its case are in the custody of the 1" Respondent (INEC), hence the need to seek and obtain the order of the Honorable Tribunal to inspect, scan, photocopy, pay and obtain certified true copies of all the documents and materials used in the conduct of the said Governorship Election in Ogun State.

“By Paragraph 47(1), (2) and (3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2022, leave of this Honourable Tribunal is needed for the Applicants to bring this Application outside the pre-hearing session, in extreme circumstances.

“Time is of the essence for the Petitioners/Applicants to file this petition; and this constitutes an extreme circumstance.

“The documents sought to be inspected are indispensable for the purpose of instituting and maintaining the said election petition. Access to and availability of the identified documents in the custody of the 1st Respondent to the Applicants are also necessary for the judicial determination of the election petition to be instituted by the Petitioners/Applicants.

“The documents required by the Applicant are as listed in the Schedule attached to the Supporting Affidavit filed to this Motion Ex parte.” 

The NNPP chairman in the state, Olaposi Oginni said the party dragged the APC candidate because he was a beneficiary of the irregularities allegedly performed by the electoral body. 

Oginni stressed that it will be in the interest of justice if the instant application filed by the party is granted. 

INEC had on Sunday declared Abiodun the winner of the election after polling 276,298 votes, while Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 262,383 votes to come second, despite alleged cancellation on some polling units, which mathematically was above the lead margin between the two front runners.

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