Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and his party yesterday at the election petition tribunal closed their case against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Jegede declined to call any of the 399 witnesses he had listed before the Justice Umar Abubakar-led panel at the petition tribunal to back up his petition against Akeredolu, and the APC.
According to Jegede’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the move was to narrow their cases to evidence already presented before the petition tribunal, saying his clients were no longer interested in calling further witnesses apart from Jegede who was in the witness box on Tuesday.
Also, the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IINEC) lawyer, Charles Edosomwan (SAN) asked the election petition tribunal for enough time to further study petitions and be able to open defence on behalf of his client.
The election petition tribunal, however, adjourned to January 19 hearing on Edosonwa’s defence as APC’s lawyers, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Governor Akeredolu and the Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Mr. Akin Olujimi (SAN) did not oppose INEC’s application.
Jegede had filed a petition to challenge the outcome of the governorship election in which Governor Akeredolu was declared the winner by the INEC.
As part of his grounds for the petition, Jegede is challenging the validity of Akeredolu’s nomination by the APC.
During the cross-examination, lawyers to the defendants, Chief Lateef Fagbemi and Chief Akin Olujimi said Jegede, who was not a member of the APC could not interfere in the internal affairs of the party.
Similarly, INEC’s counsel, Edonsanmiwan, asked, “Mr. Jegede, are you a member of the All Progressives Congress?” The petitioner answered “No. I am a member of the PDP.”
Jegede, however, argued that since he contested the said election with the APC candidate, it was within his rights to question the process that produced Akeredolu as the party’s standard-bearer.