The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Thursday, began with a stern warning to politicians not to attempt to influence its decisions in any way.
Also, the Tribunal had granted the Ogun East Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 28 National Assembly elections, Prince Dapo Abiodun, leave to inspect the Independent National Electoral Commission documents used during the conduct of the polls in the area.
The tribunal vowed to vehemently resist attempts by anyone to bribe or compromise its members throughout the duration of its sittings.
It appealed to the litigants, politicians and their agents to do their jobs and refrain from attempting to influence them “by whatever means, whatsoever.”
The Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Ebiowei Tobi, warned that it would have zero-tolerance for corruption.
In his inaugural speech on behalf of the two other members, Justice Adekunle Lawal and Hon. Quadi Adamu Usman, made in court to petitioners and their couinsels, including the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Abimbola Akeredolu, Tobi stressed that they were not ready to “mortgage” their conscience.
He advised politicians, their lawyers and others not to allow themselves to be deceived by anyone into believing that they could reach to the tribunal with a view to influencing its decisions.
Said Tobi: “We are here in Ogun State to carry out this assignment with the fear of God, impartially and zero tolerance for corruption, in any way it presents itself, expressly or disguised, in whatever form. Apart from seeing this assignment as a national assignment, we also see it as a divine assignment.
“We are conscious that we are answerable to God and will account for our decisions. This consciousness will always be before me and my members in this assignment. We are, therefore, not ready to mortgage our conscience. We want to state clearly even at the risk of sounding repetitive that we would adhere to our constitutional responsibility and the oath we took before the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria. We are conscious of the responsibility and, by the grace of God, we will succeed.