Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure, Ondo state has granted a motion exparte for substituted service on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede.
Jegede in the petition is challenging the victory of Akeredolu on four grounds.
The grounds include that the election was marred by irregularities and pockets of violence as well as intimidation and faulty emergence of Akeredolu at the APC primaries.
Counsel for Jegede, Jamiu Makinde had in the motion exparte sought an order to serve the defendants through substituted service by pasting on the petition on the notice board of the tribunal.
Makinde also sought an order allowing access to materials used for the conduct of the October 10, governorship election, and in the custody of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He listed local councils in which electoral materials are to be accessed to include Owo, Eseodo, Ilaje, Okitipupa amongst others.
Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Umaru Abubakar, granted the order and said the petitioner could advertise the served processes in a newspaper circulating within its jurisdiction.
Also, Justice Abubakar allowed the petitioner access to election materials in the custody of INEC within the hours of 8 am and 4 pm for a period of five working days.
Recall that Akeredolu had in a result declared by the Chief Returning Officer, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Abel Idowu Olayinka won in 15 of the 18 council areas of the state polling 292, 830 votes while the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede scored 195,791 votes and the candidate of the Zenith labour Party, Agboola Ajayi got 69,127 votes to come a distant third.
Councils won by Akeredolu include, Owo, Ose, ldanre, Okitipupa, lrele, Ondo West, Ondo East, Odigbo, Akoko South West, Akoko southeast, Akoko North East, Akoko North West, and ile-Oluji/ Okeigbo.
Jegede won in only three council areas which include Akure South, Akure North, and lfedore.
However, the candidate of the ZLP, Agboola Ajayi failed to win any council area including his Ese- Odo constituency which was won by Akeredolu.