Governor Olusegun Mimiko
The Ondo State Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in October 20 governorship election, Mr. Olusoji Ehinlanwo, and his running mate, Mrs. Damilola Oluyemi, have challenged the declaration of Dr Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) as winner of the poll.
The petition, which was filed on behalf of the candidates by their councel, Mr. Segun Ogodo, at the state Election Petitions Tribunal, has as respondents, Mimiko, the LP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, and the Returning Officer, Prof Biyi Daramola.
The filling of the petition has brought to five, the number of petitions filed against the return of Mimiko by the INEC as the winner of the election.
Meanwhile, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has come under scathing criticism from the state chapter of LP over its remarks in the media following its challenge of Mimiko’s victory.
The party said the ACN could not approbate and reprobate at the same time.
The ACN had last Sunday, through its media assistant, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, attempted to rationalise the reasons the party was in court, mentioning allegations bordering on criminal practices against both the LP and INEC which they insisted resulted in the victory of Mimiko.
However, the LP in a statement yesterday berated the ACN, saying once matters are in court, it becomes subjudice and should not be a subject of media analysis as the ACN has now turned the matter into, adding, that these antics would not favour them at the tribunal.
According to the LP’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Femi Okunjemiruwa, “the position of the law is that once a matter is in court, nobody should comment on it in the media as the ACN is now doing. If you go to court with weighty allegations as the ones being made by the party, it behoves on you to be ready to prove these allegations rather than resorting to media rigmarole as the ACN is trying to do, they ought to be aware of the legal maxim which says he who alleges must prove.”
The LP spokesperson while stating that even from the tirades of the ACN as enunciated by its media manager, it was obvious that they were a bunch of confused people merely out to play mischief rather than be serious at the tribunal.
His words: “while we are not going to join issues with those who are, from all intent and purposes, not ready to subject themselves to the rule of the court considering their posturing in the last few months before, during and after the election, we would like to say that some of the issues raised were pre-election matters and not election matters.
“The rule is that since they have gone to court, they should allow the court to adjudicate of the matter rather than trying to play media stunts with all these phantom allegations which they should be prepared to substantiate rather than resorting to a fly in the ointment tactics which failed them during the election.”