Femi Makinde, Osogbo
The reconstituted Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has ordered the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, to serve his petition and other court processes on the respondents by pasting it on the notice board of the tribunal.
The Justice Muhammad Sirajo-headed tribunal gave this order at the sitting in Osogbo on Monday following an ex parte application for substituted service filed before the panel by Adeleke and the PDP.
The petitioners had prayed the court to grant them the leave to serve the Independent National Electoral Commission; the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, and his party, the APC, through substituted means since they were allegedly evading service.
The application was moved by counsel for the PDP candidate, Mr Nathaniel Oke (SAN).
The petitioners’ counsel prayed for “an order of this honourable tribunal granting leave to the petitioner/applicants to serve the petition, court orders, hearing notices and all other processes already filed and to be filed in this case on the second and third respondents through substituted means by pasting the said petition, court orders and hearing notices and all other processes already filed and to be filed in this case on the notice board of this honourable tribunal.”
The petitioners also sought the court’s permission for their forensic experts and statisticians to scan and obtain certified true copies of election materials.
The tribunal, in a ruling read by Justice Peter Obiora, granted the prayers.
The court ordered that the petitioners shall pay the requisite statutory fees and that the inspection and examination of the documents shall not be done by the petitioners in the absence of the respondents.
The tribunal added that the respondents shall each send two persons to be present and observe the inspection and examination of the documents.
Recall that the earlier panel, headed by Justice T. A. Igoche, was disbanded last week and a new panel, comprising Justices Sirajo, Obiora and Adeboye Gbolagunte, was reconstituted to take over the hearing of the petitions.