By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The Ondo 2020 gubernatorial election tribunal sitting in Akure, Ondo State, resumed sitting on Tuesday, with two leading counsel to defendants dismissing claims by the petitioners as mere frivolities.
Chief Charles Uyi Edosomwan, SAN, and Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, leading counsels to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), argued that the crux of claims by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is purely a pre-election affair.
The legal minds contended that the decision of APC to sponsor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN as its flag bearer was taken in July last year, ahead of the October 10, 2020 governorship election.
The candidate of the PDP, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, while being cross-examined, had faulted both the selection process of the candidate of APC, and the collation of the election results by the INEC.
The counsel established that all issues that accompanied nomination by the ruling party happened long before the election in October.
Chief Edosomwan wondered why the petitioners would employ an alleged crisis in the APC to launch a legal attack.
He asked pointedly: “Mr. Jegede, are you a member of the All Progressives Congress?” The petitioner said no, adding, “I am a member of the PDP”.
Edosomwan also argued that only authorised staff of the electoral body could be in a position to say if any candidate in an election has been wrongly credited with figures.
He told the petitioner: “You are not an electoral officer, and therefore, not in a position to know if figures were wrongly credited or not.”
The tribunal adjourned till Wednesday, 13th January, 2021