By Jethro Ibileke
The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Friday granted ex-parte motions filed by five petitioners for substituted means of service against their respective respondents.
Chairman of the Tribunal, Hon. Justice Abdulrazaq Abdulkareem, granted the order at its inaugural sitting in Benin City.
Five political parties had filed petitions at the Tribunal challenging the outcome of the September 19 governorship election, which was won by the candidate of the PDP candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The political parties seeking to nullify the victory of Godwin Obaseki are Action Democratic Party (ADP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Earlier at his inaugural comment, Justice Abdulkareem assured that the Tribunal is committed to completing the five petitions before it within the stipulated time frame.
He solicited the co-operation of all parties and their counsels, assuring that the Tribunal would perform its duties without prejudice to any party.
“We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of these matters, we shall act in good faith and shall do our work without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception.
“We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of the matters before us; we shall act in good faith, and shall do our work with open mind, without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception. We also pledge not to lend ourselves to any form of external influence,” he said.
Speaking for counsels to all parties, Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN), assured the Tribunal of their cooperation.
Mozia promised that they would do their best to file their applications within the specified time frames.
Justice Abdulkareem thereafter adjourned sitting to Monday, December 7, for pre-hearing process.