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INEC, Jegede bicker over APC’s nomination of Akeredolu at tribunal

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 10, 2020 election, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday bikered over sponsorship of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the election. Akeredolu sponsored by the APC was declared by INEC as the winner of the election. However, Jegede said the nomination of Akeredolu for the election was illegal, insisting that the result declared by INEC was fraught with irregularities.

Jegede, who had earlier given his statement on oath and led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr. Onyeakachi Ikpeazu (SAN), was crossexamined by lawyers to Akeredolu, APC and the INEC, Chief Lateef Fathemi, Mr. Akin Olujimi and Charles Edosanmiwan. Jegede said the sponsorship of Akeredolu by APC contravened the 1999 Constitution as amended, insisting that nomination of Akeredolu through Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State governor was against the law.

He, however, asked the tribunal to set aside declaration of Akeredolu as the winner of the election. But the INEC Director of Operation, Mr. Tope Aina, who gave evidence on behalf of the commission, said there was nothing wrong with the sponsorship of Akeredolu by the APC for the election. Also, he said Akeredolu who got 195,791 votes in the election scored the majority of the total votes cast and was right to be declared the winner of the election.

Aina said the 10th October, 2020 governorship election in the state, was conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the election.

According to him, there was nothing wrong by the APC in appointing Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the party in as much it was in line with the Constitution of both the party and the country. Aina said the PDP also appointed Caretaker Committee headed by a former Governor Kaduna State, Alhaji Ahmed Markarfi to run its affairs. It was the same Committee that nominated Jegede in 2016 as the candidate of the PDP. However, Aina during cross-examination by Ikpeaszu said he would not recall if Markarfi who was a governor between 1999 and 2007 was a sitting governor when he sponsored Jegede for the election in 2016.

 

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