By James Sowole
The Action Congress of Nigeria and its candidate in the October 20, 2012 Gubernatorial Election in Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Friday filed a petition at the Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal against the declaration of Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The petition filed at about 2.00pm at the tribunal located within the premises of the Akure High Court, contained 190 paragraphs in 403 pages.
Similarly, the Accord Party and its candidate, James Olawale late Thursday filed its own petition at the tribunal, also asking for the invalidation of the election result.
Coincidentally, both the ACN and AP and their candidates were seeking a similar prayer calling for the nullification of the October Poll.
While the AP in its petition submitted to the tribunal secretary, Yusuf Musa, based its prayer on allegation that INEC omitted its logo on the ballot paper, the ACN alleged that Mimiko was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes.
Akeredolu said the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and or non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The ACN legal team of 20 lawyers was led by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, Lasun Sanusi SAN while other lawyers include Wole Aina, Edward Odugbesan, Kola Olawoye, Charles Titiloye, Victor Olatoyegun, Michael Lana among others.
ACN alleged that the voters register was falsified by INEC to ensure victory of Mimiko and that some named political office holders in the state connived with security agents and INEC staff to rig the poll in favour of Labour party.
Also in the petition were allegations of ballot box hijacking, ballot box snuffing, massive multiple thumb- printing of ballot papers by LP agents.
The petitioners alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, non-compliance with electoral act and "glaring violence, malpractices and allocation of votes for LP, and creation of secret units and secret collation centre where the electoral fraud was perpetuated."
Furthermore, the party alleged that LP deployed cash and materials to induce voters throughout the state.
The petitioner pleaded for all video clips, report of local and international observers, media, fingerprint experts, medical reports and election materials used in the conduct of the poll.
ACN listed 117 witnesses from all the local government areas in the state except Owo Local Government, which it won convincingly.
Accord party claimed that INEC omitted its logo on the ballot paper used for d October 20, contrary to the 2010 electoral act.
The petitioners insisted that INEC sent three of its officials to monitor its primary held on August1, 2012 but still excluded its candidate's name from the list of contestants.
The Accord Party prayed the tribunal to order INEC to conduct fresh poll that would allow Olawale to participate.