The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has granted approval to the PDP and its candidate in the July 14 governorship poll, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, to serve its notice of petition on the APC and its candidate, Kayode Fayemi, through substituted means.
The tribunal said the petitioners should serve their process by conspicuous pasting and courier services on the respondents.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Fayemi as the winner of the election.
The order was granted following an exparte motion filed by Kolapo’s counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN), brought pursuant to paragraphs 8 (2), 47 (1), ( 2), and 54 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Order 6, Rule 5 of the Federal High Court.
The motion was premised on an affidavit by the bailiff of the tribunal, who stated that he could not serve the petition on the second and third respondents which are the APC and Fayemi respectively.
The bailiff claimed the party’s office in the Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti had been under lock and key while Fayemi was currently out of the country.
In the motion, Obafemi Adewale, who represented the petitioners, sought the following:
“An order of the honourable tribunal granting leave to the petitioners/applicants to bring this application before the pre-hearing session and to hear and determine same accordingly”
“An order for substituted service of the petition and other processes filed by the petitioners/applicants in this petition on the second and third respondents, Olukayode John Fayemi by substituted means to wit: By delivering the petition and other processes filed by the petitioners to any of the officials or members of staff of the second respondent at the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress on No 156, Ajilosun Street, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State”
“And/or by serving the petition and its accompaniments and other subsequent processes filed by the petitioners in this petition by pasting i.e notice put up at a conspicuous place at the Ekiti State secretariat of the 2nd respondents at No 156, Ajilosun Street, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State,” among others.”
In their ruling, the Tribunal granted prayer(s) 2 (a), (c) and (d) as contained in the motion exparte which is to paste the petition and accompany processes at a conspicuous place in the premises of the tribunal in Ado Ekiti and send same via a registered courier service to the National Headquarters of the APC in Abuja.