Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede has challenged the victory of Govenor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election petition tribunal.
Joined in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, the Deputy Govenor- elect, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa and the APC. INEC had declared Akeredolu winner of the governorship election, having polled the highest number of lawful votes. Akeredolu, according to the results declared by INEC defeated Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Jegede of the PDP.
Not comfortable with the outcome of the election, Jegede who was a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state approached the election petition tribunal to seek redress. The lead counsel to Jegede, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe said Jegede is challenging the election on four grounds. He argued that the election was marred by irregularities, violence and intimidation of eligible voters.
Jegede also faulted the emergence of Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the APC, claiming that the primary election that produced Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the APC fell short of standard.
Meanwhile, the APC in Ondo State has said that it entertains no fear over the decision of the governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr Eyitayo Jegede to approach the election petition tribunal. The party said its governorship candidate in the election, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is also not worried by Jegede’s action. The state publicity secretary of the party, Mr Alex Kalejaiye while reacting to Jegede’s move, said the party is prepared to meet him at the tribunal. He said the APC and Governor Akeredolu are convinced that the PDP candidate will lose at the tribunal the same way he lost the governorship election. Kaleyaiye who described Jegede’s action as a democratic process, said the APC won the October 10 governorship election overwhelmingly, hence its belief that it will emerge victorious at the tribunal.
However, he said Jegede’s action was in order as a democratic and constitutional way through which he could vent his displeasure with the outcome of the last election.