Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
No fewer than seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) are to represent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State at the Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure, the state capital.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Eyitayo Jegede has dragged Akeredolu and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the tribunal.
Jegede is challenging the victory of Akeredolu in the October 10 governorship election, claiming that the poll was marred by violence, irregularities and electoral malpractices.
Also joined in the suit is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC had declared Akeredolu winner of the election, having polled the highest number of lawful votes in the election.
It was learnt that Governor Akeredolu had engaged some senior lawyers, seven of whom are SANs, to defend him before the tribunal.
A top government official who preferred anonymity told Daily Sun that the governor had reached out to the lawyers.
“Akeredolu, himself a SAN, has contacted some of his colleagues to defend him at the tribunal. Chief Wole Olanipekun will lead the team of Akeredolu’s lawyer at the tribunal. Others that have been contacted are Niyi Akinola, Emeka Ngige, Akinlolu Olujimi, Olusola Oke and Remi Olatubora,” the source said.
He, however, declined to confirm if the lawyers had agreed to defend the governor at the tribunal.
Akeredolu defeated PDP’s Jegede, and his deputy, Agboola Ajayi , who was candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) to emerge winner at the poll by winning in 15 of the 18 local government areas in the state.
Meanwhile, the governor has constituted a 25-member committee to organise his second term inauguration slated for February 23, 2021.
The committee according to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo is expected to come up with an acceptable programme of events for the inauguration ceremony and ensure its success.