The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure is set to deliver judgement in the case between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Eyitayo Jegede and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This comes as the Tribunal rescheduled judgement in the October 10, 2020 governorship election which saw the re-election of Governor Akeredolu for a second term in office.
Jegede had filed a case challenging the victory of Governor Akeredolu.
The Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal has fixed April 21 to deliver judgement on the petition seeking to upturn the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020 governorship election.
The three-man panel of judges, led by Justice Umar Abubakar announced this through a notice to all parties in the case. The parties had on 25 February this year adopted their written addresses before the Tribunal.
Eyitayo Jegede, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed a petition before the tribunal challenging the electoral victory of Governor Akeredolu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jegede who faulted Akeredolu’s participation at the poll alleged that he and his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa of the APC were not validly nominated.
Meanwhile, the defence counsels had pleaded with the court to dismiss Jegede’s petition on several grounds.
According to the counsel to Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa, Akin Olujimi and that of the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, the petitioner had admitted in paragraph 12 of its petition the sponsorship of third and first respondents but failed to prove that they were not validly nominated.
Hence, the tribunal reserved judgement to a date that will be communicated to the parties in the case in April 2021, which it finally fixed on Wednesday, 21st April.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede on Wednesday closed his case at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure.
Jegede had on Tuesday presented witness against the declaration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the winner of the election.
The PDP candidate had earlier listed over 400 witnesses to prove his case at the Tribunal.
The Ondo State 2020 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has held its inaugural sitting at the State High Court in Akure.
In his inaugural address, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abubakar Umar, disclosed that there are three petitions filed before the tribunal.
He asked all parties involved to avail the Tribunal all the support needed to enable them to succeed in the assignment.
Justice Umar also appealed to the legal representatives to maintain a cordial relationship with the Tribunal members, adding that there should be no private or official communication between any member of the tribunal and legal representatives.
The tribunal Chairman called on the legal teams to pursue their cases diligently, noting that video coverage of the tribunal proceedings is prohibited according to the law.
He also called on all media professionals to always abide by the rules of the law and the tribunal.
The PDP candidate in the election, Eyitayo Jegede is challenging the election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities and pockets of violence and intimidation.
Joined in the petition by Jegede are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The spokesman of the Eyitayo Jegede campaign organisation, Gbenga Akinmoyo says the team hopes on God going forward, following his principal’s defeated in the Ondo Governorship election.
He disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television in Akure on Sunday after the conclusion of the governorship election in Ondo State.
“This project is a project that God has ordained. As it is so, we wait. So we wait on God,” the spokesman said.
While thanking the people of the state for voting for their conscience during the polls, Akinmoyo also commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members for working hard for the party.
“For the benefit of the general public, we will like to thank all the Ondo State voters who went to the polls yesterday and voted for their conscience.”
His remarks come hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu, the winner of the keenly contested election.
Akeredolu, who is also the incumbent governor, swept to victory by winning 15 of the 18 local governments in the keenly contested election.
He got 292,830 votes beating Jegede and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party came second and third in the election with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, says it is time for a more holistic, honest and practical view of governance.
Mr. Jegede disclosed this at the Ondo State Governorship debate put together by Channels Television, in partnership with the Civil Society Elections Situation Room and UK AID with support from UK foreign commonwealth development office.
Speaking on why he should be voted as governor of the state come Saturday, the Senior Advocate said his private and public sector experience makes him stand out from all other candidates.
Jegede further stated that his experience in both sectors has made him realise that at the moment things are not going well in the state, hence the need for a new face and a new positive change.
He said, “I believe the time has come for us to have a more holistic, honest, and practical view at governance” in Ondo State.
Mr. Jegede said he intends to grow the state’s economy and will confront the challenges in the health sector.
According to him, the health facilities in Ondo State are not in good shape, and the high-cost of medicare is putting a strain on the lives of the people especially pregnant women and children.
Jegede who was a former commissioner for justice and attorney general of Ondo said he is pained also by the challenges faced by students within the various tertiary institutions in the state, adding that he will look into the cost of tuition which tends now to be depriving many young people of getting the education they desire.
Making additional comments on what he will do to transform the economy in Ondo State, Mr. Jegede said he would make jobs available for the youths by engaging the private sector.
He vowed to address issues in the agricultural sector in a fresh new way by taking a stock of performance and seeing what way output can be increased.
Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede; the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Agboola Ajayi, and others, have signed a peace pact ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Saturday.
They signed the pact on Tuesday in the state capital, Akure, pledging to shun violence during the election and avoid actions that may undermine the peace accord.
The event, facilitated by the National Peace Committee (NPC), had the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu; and the Inspector-General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who was represented by the DIG Of Police, Research and Planning, Oyebade Adeleye, in attendance.
Others in attendance included the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo and traditional rulers from the state.
With the election drawing close, there have been claims and counterclaims about attacks from the two leading contestants, the candidates of the APC and the PDP.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the convoy of the PDP candidate, Jegede has been attacked severally – a situation which he credited to ‘hoodlums’ who according to him, escort the governor.
Eleven out of the 17 political parties participating in the governorship election in Ondo State have resolved to support the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede in the election.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the state, Prince Oladele Ogunbameru during a press conference on behalf of the 11 parties in Akure, the state capital.
According to Ogunbameru, the decision of the parties to collapse their structures for Jegede followed a meeting held on October 4 with the party leaders and those of the PDP.
He said the parties took the decision because they believe the good governance the people are yearning for can only be offered by the PDP.
For the SDP Chairman, the collaboration is an organised effort to save the state from what he described as the political quagmire and undesirable socioeconomic predicament of the masses.
Reacting to the development, PDP Chairman, Fatai Adams said the support from the 11 political parties indicates the acceptability of its candidate, adding that the party is confident of winning the election.
The 11 political parties that adopted the PDP candidate include Accord, the Action Alliance (AA), Action Democratic Party (ADP), the African Action Congress (AAC).
Others include the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), the All Peoples’ Party (APP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
The Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday said political thugs sponsored by the All Progressives Congress have attacked the convoy of its governorship candidate in the upcoming election, Mr Eyitayo Jegede.
The attack, the PDP said, took place in Ipele and Owo township in Owo Local Government.
The APC, whose campaign train moved to the Akoko area of the state on Tuesday, was yet to respond to the allegation as of the time of filing this report.
When contacted, spokesman of the police in the state, Tee-Leo Ikoro, said both the APC and PDP have traded accusations over the attack.
He added that the Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation into the matter.
Jegede is expected to be the main challenger to the APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu in the October 10 elections.
‘Come To Our Rescue’
In its Tuesday statement, signed by the spokesman of the Jegede Campaign Samuel Fasua, the PDP said some of its members have been hospitalized as a result of the attack and called on the international community to come to its aid.
“A PDP member by name, Hon. Amuda Sikiru, was shot in the face and abdomen during our campaign rally in Owo town by the APC thugs,” the statement said. “The victim who is still lying unconscious was rushed to the state’s specialist hospital in Akure in the Ambulance attached to the candidate’s convoy.
“Also wounded by the APC thugs’ bullet attacks were Messes Taye Akintufede and Seun Ogunlade. They have also been rushed to the hospital.
“Besides, some of our campaign vehicles were damaged, as was witnessed in Oba-Akoko community recently.
“One of the convoy’s campaign trucks was completely burnt down.
“Earlier in the day, the same APC armed hoodlums had blocked the entry point to Ipele community, Jegede’s maternal home, and attempted to turn back the campaign team.
“This spate of attacks on our members by the ruling party in the state is threatening the peace of the state, and is apparently intended to cause violence ahead of the October 10 governorship election.
“We are calling on the Inspector-General of Police, the human rights community, and other international bodies to come to our rescue in Ondo State.
“We want a free and fair election, but the party in power does not.”