The inaugural sitting of the Ondo State election petition tribunal holds today.
The tribunal is headed by Justice Umar Abubakar.
He is leading two other Justices to hear the petition filed by Eyitayo Jegede, SAN against Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN who was declared winner of the October 10, 2020 Election by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Eyitayo Jegede approached the tribunal to seek redress.
The grounds of the petition filled by Jegede include that;
1. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was not validly nominated by his party APC. By the provisions of section 183 of the 1999 Constitution, a serving Governor of a State( in this case, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni) can not serve as the National Chairman of APC at the same time to nominate Akeredolu as Candidate of their Party for the Ondo Elections. Section 183 states “The Governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsover”.In other words, Akeredolu was not validly nominated and as such APC had no candidate for the Ondo Election.
2. Article 17 section iv of the APC Constitution also provides that, any official of the party cannot simultaneously occupy any other executive office in government. It states “No officer in any organ of the party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently”.Again Buni ran foul of this provision.
3. The Election was marred with violence in some Local Governments as well as over voting in other areas.These are some of the grounds that Jegede is relying on and asking the Tribunal to declare him as the validly elected Governor of Ondo State.
Earlier, while swearing in Justices of the Election Petitions Tribunals for Edo and Ondo States in Abuja, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad admonished the Judges.