Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
The petition by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Soji Ehinlanwo, against the victory of Labour Party (LP) flag bearer, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in the October 20, 2012 election suffered a major setback yesterday, at the Justice Andovar Kaka’an-led Election Petitions Tribunal.
A 20-paragraph application filed by his counsel, Mr. Segun Ogodo, for the tribunal’s leave to inspect and make photocopies of both used and purportedly unused election materials was torn into shreds by counsel to other parties in the petition, when the tribunal sat.
The CPC flag bearer had also in the application urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make available security reports by the State Security Service (SSS), Police and other security agencies on the conduct of the election as well as all electronic materials on violence during the poll.
Mimiko’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), quoting from the Black Law Dictionary, described the word purported to mean ‘being rumoured’ ‘in the figment of imagination’ ‘make belief’, saying in this instance, INEC cannot produce what it does not have and prayed the tribunal to expunge six paragraphs from the application.
The LP lead counsel, Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN), also objected to the demand of security reports from INEC.
Sounding comical in his submission, Alli said: “Since the petitioner is asking for security reports from INEC, I think our friend should have included Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the matter and asked them to produce security reports. The law cannot command impossibility. The onus is on the petitioner to prove his case that there was violence during the election.
INEC’s lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), prayed for total dismissal of the application for incompetence and described some of the paragraphs in the application as frivolous.
After these submissions, Egodo concurred that the offending paragraphs 2, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 41 be expunged from the application.
The tribunal therefore expunged the paragraphs and granted the prayer for joint inspection by all parties and adjourned the pre-trial of petitions by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) and Accord Party to January 10, 2013.