By Josiah Oluwole
As the Ondo State 2019 National and State Assemblies Elections Tribunal receives petitions arising from the elections, the Mega Party of Nigeria has asked it to nullify the senatorial election in Ondo North senatorial district.
Ajayi Boroffice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the senator-elect for the district and currently holds the certificate of return.
In the petition before the tribunal, counsel to the MPN, Remi Olatubora, submitted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully excluded the Mega Party of Nigeria from the ballot list.
He called for nullification of the election and an order for a fresh election in the district.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Akure, the secretary of the tribunal, Livinus Ugwu, said the tribunal had received four petitions from candidates.
He said the court has granted interlocutory applications for an order directing INEC to present for inspection materials used for the conduct of the elections and to make certified true copies available to the petitioners.
He said a journalist and a member of the APC, Donald Ojogo, filed the first petition challenging the declaration of Kolade Akinjo of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the Ilaje/Eseodo Federal Constituency in the February 23 election.
Counsel to the petitioner, Isaacs Kekemeke, said the declaration violated the 2019 regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections and asked the court to declare the election inconclusive and hold a supplementary election in the constituency.
The tribunal also received another petition from Albert Akintoye of the APC challenged the declaration of Ikengbolu Gboluga of the PDP as the member-elect for the Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency on ground that he won the majority of the lawful votes cast in the election. He said the results were manipulated by INEC in favour of the PDP.
His counsel, Yinka Orokoto, in his prayers, sought an order setting aside the certificate of return issued by INEC to Mr Gboluga and the declaration Mr Akintoye as member-elect for the constituency.
PDP’s Abayomi Akinfemiwa is also challenging the declaration of Mayowa Akinfolarin of the APC as member-elect for Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency.
The petitioner through his counsel, Olumide Ogunja, submitted that election in some of the wards such as Odigbo, Ore, Oniparaga, and Koseru were characterised by irregularities.
Mr Ogunja said Mr Akinfemiwa, having scored the highest number of lawful votes, ought to have been returned and should be returned as member-elect representing the Constituency.
According to Mr Ugwu, the tribunal headed by Justice Nuhu Adi and with V.U. Okorie and K.M. Alabo as members, is yet to have a formal sitting.