By James Sowole
Against all expectations, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the October 10, 2020, governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, yesterday closed their case before the state Election Petition Tribunal.
Jegede had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP candidate in the petition alleged that Akeredolu was not validly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to fly the party’s flag.
Jegede also alleged that the election was characterised by some irregularities, which made the declaration of Akeredolu as the winner invalid.
The PDP candidate, who listed 400 witnesses and many exhibits, was the first to give evidence before the tribunal last Tuesday.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Jegede and the PDP stunned the people in the courtroom, when they announced that they were no longer interested in calling further witnesses.
The counsel to the PDP candidate and the PDP, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, said they were no longer interested in calling further witnesses aside Jegede, who was in the witness box last Tuesday.
Ikpeazu said they have opted to narrow their case to the evidences presented before the court.
Sequel to the action of Jegede and the PDP, INEC counsel, Charles Edosomwan, prayed the court for time to further study the petitions, and be able to open their defence.
Also, counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, and that of Akeredolu, Akin Olujimi (SAN) did not oppose the prayer of INEC.
Following the granting of the request of the counsel, the tribunal Chairman, Umar Abubakar, adjourned the sitting of the panel till January 19, 2021, to enable the first respondent, INEC, to open its evidence in rebuttal.