Suleiman Belgore, Chairman of the Ekiti State Governorship Petition Tribunal, has announced the relocation of the tribunal out of the state.
Speaking after considering an application by Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had argued that the 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.”
Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel to the All Progressive Congress (APC), 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.”
Charles Edohosa, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), agreed with the counsel of the PDP.
After a recess, Belgore and Ebiyerin Omukoro and Aliyu Usman — the other members of the panel — granted the application.
“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,” he 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.”