The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last year’s election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, has insisted that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was not validly nominated by his party as candidate for the poll.
Akeredolu was declared winner of the October 10, 2020 governorship election, but Jegede, in his petition, is urging the tribunal to invalidate the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and declare him winner of the poll.
Jegede, testifying yesterday at the resumed sitting of the Ondo Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure, said Mai Mala Buni as a sitting governor of Yobe State could not function as the caretaker chairman of the APC.
He said Akeredolu’s nomination was contrary to the APC constitution and 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Attempts by Jegede to tender the election result, nomination form and results of the election across the 18 local governments were rejected by counsel to the defendants, Lateef Fagbemi and Akin Olujimi.
But the three-man panel headed by Justice Umar Abubakar admitted the exhibits tendered by Jegede.
During cross examination, counsel to the defendants noted that Jegede, not being a member of the APC, should not interfere in the internal affairs of the party.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Charles Edosanmwan, said the crux of Jegede’s petition was basically about APC’s primary election and emergence of Akeredolu as candidate, when he is not a member of the APC.
Jegede said he had a right to question the process that produced Akeredolu as a candidate for the election he participated in.
Justice Abubakar said sitting would hold everyday, except on public holidays from 8am to 5pm. (The Nation)