The Ondo State Chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and its Governorship Candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, have presented 46 lawyers that will prosecute their petitions against Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Governorship Election Tribunal.
The legal team, headed by Akin Olujinmi, has concluded its physical inspection of the documents used by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct the October 20 Governorship Poll.
The findings are expected to be used at the trial of the case.
Sources within the ACN alleged that the options being exploited by the state governor and Labour Party candidate, Olusegun Mimiko, and the Labour Party is to kill the petition on technical grounds.
Many objections have been filed to this effect by the Respondents including a cross petition to the result declared by INEC in Irele and Ilaje to prevent any of the Petitioners/opposition candidates from being declared the winner without a rerun. Mr. Mimiko’s legal team is led by Wole Olanipekun while that of the Labour Party is led by Yusuf Ali.
ACN, Accord challenge tribunal jurisdiction
The ACN and Mr. Akeredolu have also challenged the jurisdiction of the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Akure to make use of the reply filed by Labour Party.
The objection was filed by their lawyers led by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Akin Olujimi, Oladipo Okpeseyi and Lasun Sanusi.
ACN is contesting the competence of the Labour Party’s petition filed by Wahab Egbewole, allegedly a full time employee of the University of Ilorin, an Educational Institution financed by the Federal Government.
The party noted that paragraphs 1&2(b) of the filth schedule of the constitution forbids Mr. Egbewole, who is a public officer, from offering his service to any other person except his employer.
It maintained that Mr. Egbewole has no ‘locus standi’ to sign Labour Party’s reply to the petition and the reply signed by him is a nullity and should not be used by the Tribunal.
ACN also prayed the Tribunal to strike out all the motions filed by the Labour Party challenging the Tribunal Jurisdiction.
It argued that by virtue of Electoral Act all objections raised in Respondent’s Reply shall be heard along with substantive suit and not by motion at the Pre-hearing session.
Similar applications were filed by the Accord party challenging the reply filed by Wahab Egbewole. The applications will be heard on Thursday, January 10.
The Tribunal at its last sitting hinted that it may consolidate all the petitions before it.
The petitions were filed by ACN, Accord Party, Peoples Democratic Party, People for Democratic Change, and the Congress for Progressive Change.