Ondo Election Petition: Akeredolu, Jegede Clash As PDP Candidate Alleges Threat To Life

  • Jegede: Some Elements In APC Are After My Life
  • Akeredolu: ‘It’s an evasive strategy, look within your party for answers’

By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)

Barely five weeks after the Ondo governorship election, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has clashed with his rival Mr Eyitayo Jegede of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jegede who is currently challenging the election results at the tribunal.

The clash this time stemmed from an allegation of threat to life raised by Jegede.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Mr Gbenga Akinmoyo, head of Jegede Campaign Organisation, he said some people in APC were threatened by Jegede’s petition at the tribunal, and alleged they wanted to get rid of him.

The statement read: “Information at the disposal of Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation is that there is security threat to the candidate of the PDP in the election of 10th October 2020, especially in relation to the petition which he lodged against the APC at the election tribunal.new Akeredolu Jegede

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“Sources confirmed that various meetings have been held at very high quarters by those who feel threatened by the step taken by the candidate.

“We use this opportunity to notify the security agencies of this threat and/or likely breach of security around our candidate, we believe the security agencies will rise up to the occasion and take the threat seriously.”

But in a quick reaction to Jegede’s allegation, Governor Akeredolu
fired back at him stating that the claim was a cheap publicity stunt to attract sympathy.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson for the Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organization, Mr Olabode Richard Olatunde, he urged Jegede to stop playing to the gallery and focus on his election petition at the tribunal.

The statement read: “The latest whining of the defeated Eyitayo Jegede SAN, on an alleged threat to life did not come to us as a surprise.

“This is because Jegede has been known with his series of attention seeking tactics even during the electioneering campaign ahead of the October 10th Guber election.

“The news of the allegation of threat to life credited to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election is, therefore, another lame attempt to stir unpopular discussion around an exercise that has been concluded by the good people of Ondo State.

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“It is clear that while the resounding victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN against Jegede’s expectation is no longer news, the PDP candidate perhaps still lives in an unfortunate illusion.

“Without prejudice to the tribunal, we make bold to say that the alarm raised by Jegede over what he termed “threat to life” is an evasive strategy to further hoodwink his unsuspecting followers into believing in his legal voyage which has held them spellbound.

“If anything, Jegede should look within his party, the PDP and beam searchlight into its leadership crisis, particularly the internal wrangling which has led to the brickbats as seen in the media lately.

“Instead of seeking undue attention with unfounded claims and infantile alarms, Jegede should face his petition at the tribunal and allow the cause of law to determine its merit even as this alarm seems preemptive and defeatist in reasoning.

“While recalling the different show of violence by the PDP in the build-up to the last election, we want to say emphatically, that, as candidate of a political party who marketed violence, Jegede can not be threatened by anyone. Nevertheless, we urged the security agencies to provide adequate protection for him.

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“The APC is a peaceful political party that respects the wishes of the people. At least, we are sure that not anyone from the APC would threaten Jegede’s life, especially with the shallow document called election petition he has deposited at the Tribunal.”

Recall that the Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on began sitting in Akure on November 3rd and had granted PDP candidate, Jegede, permission to inspect materials used for voting during the October 10 governorship election in the state.

The tribunal headed by Justice Umar Abubakar also granted an order for substituted service to Governor Akeredolu, who was declared winner of the governorship election.

In an exparte order, the tribunal granted the orders moved by Jamiu Makinde, one of the counsels representing Jegede.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Governor Akeredolu, as winner of the election after he garnered a total of 292,830 votes.

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Jegede, who finished second in the election, polled 195,791 votes during the exercise, which was held in all 18 local government areas of the state.

Jegede who was not satisfied with the outcome of the election, approached the tribunal to challenge the results on grounds that the election was marred by alleged irregularities and violence.

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