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The battle on the authentic winner of the July 14 governorship poll in Ekiti State commenced in the courtroom on Monday as the Election Petition Tribunal began its sitting.

The three-member panel of judges led by the Chairman, Justice Suleiman Belgore, promises to be fair to parties involved in the petition.

Other members of the panel are Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro and Justice Aliyu Baba Usman.

The first petitioner is People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while its governorship candidate is the second petitioner.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the first respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC) is the second respondent while the third respondent is the governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

In the inaugural speech, Justice Belgore stressed that the jury is aware of the 180-day time frame within which to deliver final verdict.

He urged lawyers to parties to maintain decorum and not engage in the use of any “delay tactics” to slow down proceedings.

Belgore said the pane would be guided by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Direction as issued by the President of the Court of Appeal.

The judges commenced sitting at 10.12 am and rose at 10.32 am.

The panel reconvenes at 11.30 am for pre-trial hearing.


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