By DAYO JOHNSON
AKURE — THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate in the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke has challenged the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at the Election Petition Tribunal.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Change, PDC and its candidate, Victor Oluwafemi Adetusin had approached the tribunal claiming that the absence of its party logo on the ballot papers made him to lose many votes to the LP candidate whose party’s logo was similar to its party.
In all four political parties and their candidates have within the weekend challenged the return of Mimiko as the winner of the October 20 gubernatorial election.
Last Friday both the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and the Accord Party, AP, had earlier filed their petitions challenging the results as declared by INEC.
The PDC candidate, Adetusin alleged in the petition that the INEC, which is one of the respondents deliberately and wrongfully, omitted its party’s logo, which was similar to that of the LP and which made many voters who ordinarily, would have voted for him to wrongly vote for the LP candidate Dr. Mimiko.
Adetusin in the 34-page petition filed by his counsels led by Yinka Orokoto, said those votes credited for the LP candidate are his votes and should be counted for him.
The petitioner therefore sought an order of the tribunal annulling the election and the return of the Mimiko as the winner of the election.
He also sought an order of the tribunal to conduct fresh election in all the polling units, wards and local government areas of the state at the time that the tribunal decides.
The respondents in Oke’s petition are Mimiko, the LP, INEC, the Resident Electoral Commission for Ondo State, Mr. Akin Orebiyi and the Returning Officer for the Ondo State Governorship Election, Professor Biyi Daramola.
Oke, who deposed to 1,480-paragraph statement on oath contained in 248-page petition, averred that the election of Mimiko was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The candidate said that the Mimiko, who is the first respondent, was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election just as alleged that the election in most polling units and wards in 15 out of 18 local government areas in the state, where election took place at all was marred with violence, intimidation, harassment, ballot box stuffing and snatching.
The local government areas mentioned are: Ese-Odo, Irele, Odigbo, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo West and Ondo East .
Others are: Akure South, Akure North, Idanre, Ifedore, Ose, Owo Akoko North East, Akoko South Est and Akoko North West.
Based on several allegations contained in the petition and leveled against the return of Mimiko by the INEC, Oke some reliefs from the tribunal.