Edo 2016: Inspections of Electoral Materials commence

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By; RALPH OKHIRIA, Benin.
Three-weeks after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Party (APC) were granted Motions ex Parte by the Justice A.T. Badamasi-led 3-member Edo Election Tribunal to inspect all materials used by the Independent Electoral commission (INEC) in the conduct of the September 28 guber poll in the state, inspection of ballot papers used for the lection have commenced on Thursday afternoon at the Commission’s office in Benin City.
The exercise was scheduled to have commenced at 9am in the morning, and jointly carried out by representatives of both the PDP and the APC, but it delayed because the counsels to the APC had objected on the grounds that they have filed a suit challenging the commencement of the process before the court.
But the counsel to the PDP, Professor Edoba Omoregie told newsmen that the fact that APC has filed a suit, which the court is yet to hear, cannot alter the process both parties had earlier agreed upon.
However, the inspection process later commenced following an agreement moderated by the commission, according to a letter signed by the INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Oscar Lee  Amaechi, with reference No. INEC/ED/ADM/476/111.
The letter, copies of which were made available to the chairmen/secretaries of the PDP and the APC and their counsels, detailed the modalities for the inspection.
In the letter, INEC said the commencement of the inspection, “is in compliance with the tribunal order on the commission and the agreement reached between the representatives of the petitioners and the respondents on modalities for the inspection of documents”.
The commission added that all parties including representatives of the petitioners (PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu) and the respondents (APC and its candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki) had earlier agreed that the inspection will be jointly carried out, and as such it will stick to this decision.
It said this was in, “in view of the time”, and the need for it to,” maintain transparency and neutrality” while adding that the inspections will henceforth starts 9am daily until finally disposed off”.
The Commission also stated that,”where a party is not present by 9am, inspection will not stop, it must go on”.

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