Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin on Friday fixed May 14 to rule on whether the İndependent National Electoral Commission (İNEC) was properly served in a petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the petition, Ms Omosede İgbinedion is challenging the victory of Mr Dennis İdahosa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 2019 election into the House of Representatives in the Ovia Federal Constituency.

The Chairman of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Edo, Justice O. Ogundana, had announced the date after listening to arguments on the motion filed by the first respondent (İNEC), and the petitioner (İgbinedion).

İn the pre-trial hearing, İNEC had filed a motion to the affect that it was not properly served the court processes.

The commission’s counsel, Mr Christian Omatsome, told the court that they ought to have been served with the processes at INEC national headquarters, Abuja, rather than in Benin, Edo State, where they were actually served.

While describing it as a “bad service,’’ Omatsome said it was an issue of law and not that of proceedings.

He, therefore, urged the Tribunal to set aside the petition of the first petitioner.

İn his response, counsel to the petitioner, Mr Ferdinand Orbih, told the court that the motion was only a ploy to delay proceedings.