The Oasis Reporters
March 27, 2019
When the Osun State PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke reached out to his mother’s tribesmen in Igbo land, South east Nigeria for a terrific lawyer to wrestle back the governorship ticket he had rightfully won from strongmen in his father’s region that had robbed him, little did Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu know that a gateway has been opened for him in the South Western Yoruba belt of Nigeria that pioneered the practice of law in the country for over a century.
Adeleke’s victory at the tribunal reverberated in Ogun State and suddenly, the gubernatorial candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in the gateway state, Adekunle Akinlade and his party have hired the same Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu to lead other top legal practitioners as the battle to prove that he won the election has shifted to the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Daily Trust reports that Ikpeazu will be leading other three SANs – Mamman Osuman, Sebastine T. Hon, Ahmed Raji – and twelve other lawyers.
Already, the senior lawyer had filed, on behalf of the petitioners, a motion ex parte before the Tribunal, seeking an order mandating the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant them access to the documents used for the conduct of the March 9 election in the state.
In the petition marked EPT/06/GOV/01/2019, the petitioners said the inspection becomes necessary to allow them institute a petition before the Tribunal.
The winner of the election and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dapo Abiodun and his party, APC, were joined in the application as second and third respondents.
In the March 9 election, Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to defeat his arch-rival and candidate of APM, Akinlade who had 222,153 votes. While Dapo Abiodun was backed by ex governor Gbenga Daniel who was then in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and other APC national stalwarts, Akinlade had the unqualified support of the APC sitting governor, Ibikunle Amosun and the vast resources of the second most financially viable state in the south west.
While filing the application on 11 grounds, the petitioners submitted that without formal orders from the Tribunal, the first respondent would not avail them the required documents for the purpose of instituting their petition.
The documents sought to be inspected, they said, “are indispensable for the purpose of instituting and maintaining the said petition.”
Meanwhile, the Tribunal’s inaugural sitting has been fixed for Monday, next week.
It will however be noted that so much love flows between the South East and South West of Nigeria. While Senator Adeleke’s mother hails from the south east, the governor of Ondo State’s wife, Akeredolu is also from the South East.
Additional reporting from Daily Trust