The Ekiti governorship election petition tribunal will continue its sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The decision to relocate the tribunal from Ekiti state followed the approval of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s request by the tribunal panel.
Concise News recalls that Suleiman Belgore, Chairman of the Ekiti State Governorship Petition Tribunal, had announced the relocation of the tribunal out of the state on Monday but did not give the new venue.
Speaking after considering an application by counsel to the PDP, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), who had argued that the southwest state was unsafe for such sitting, Belgore said a new venue and date would be communicated to all counsels within 48 hours.
In his application, Adelodun had said: “My Lord, on our way to the tribunal, we were accosted by some crowds with sticks. We were on a spot for several minutes until a senior police officer came to us.
“We have to be safe first; in life, safety comes first. We are professionals and we move around to do our job. Sir, we hereby request that this sitting should be shifted to another venue, probably Abuja because of safety.”
Similarly, counsel to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Akin Olujimi (SAN), agreed with Adelodun, saying: “It has happened before, some four years ago, it happened.
“My colleague who is now the Governor of Ondo State appeared then, he was stoned. So I also support Abuja as an alternative venue.”
In the same vein, Charles Edohosa, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), agreed with the counsel of the opposition party.
The application was granted by Belgore and Ebiyerin Omukoro and Aliyu Usman — the other members on the panel.
“We have considered the issue considerately, and we are mindful of the consequences. There are security implications on the lives of the counsel and we cannot allow this,” Belgore had said.
“So, on this, there is merit to this application, and it has been granted. The new venue and date will be communicated to all counsels within 48 hours.”