The PDP have since filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP spokesman in Ondo State, Wale Ozogoro, has said that the party is not surprised at the verdict of the Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in the state, as it had earlier reported the compromising attitude of the Justice Kaka’n led panel.
The tribunal yesterday, upheld the election of the Labour Party candidate and current governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko.
Mr. Ozogoro said, “We have been suspecting the tribunal members since the day they erroneously struck out the name of PDP and its vital paragraphs in the petition during the pre-hearing stage.”
He added that the party has challenged the ruling; and its prayers have been upheld at the Appeal Court.
PDP urged the citizenry to keep hope alive, stressing that all lawful avenue would be explored to reclaim the ”stolen mandate” from Mr. Mimiko.
Also, a lawmaker representing Akure North/South Federal Constituency, Ifedayo Abegunde, urged members of the state’s branch of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN- which had also challenged the election of Mr. Mimiko- and his constituency to remain calm. Mr. Abegunde said the judgement of the Kaka’n panel clearly showed that the judges erred in law for closing their eyes on burden of proof of the evidence before them.
He described the issue of voters register as germane in any election, saying, “You cannot put something on nothing.
”The Lower Tribunal is not the end of the road, there is an assurance that the Court of Appeal will set aside the decision of the Justice Kaka’n Panel.”
An ACN lawyer, Titiloye Charles, urged citizens of the state to be hopeful as steps will be taken to appeal the verdict.
He said, “We have an unshaken belief that justice will be done ultimately, no matter how long it takes. We have from the onset committed ourselves to the struggle to ensure electoral justice for people of Ondo State.
“We will not be deterred by this judgment of the Election Tribunal. We have appealed several interlocutory rulings of the tribunal during the pendency of the petition. This final decision of the tribunal will not be an exception. The struggle for justice continues.”
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