BY LEKE ADEGBITE
The Ondo State National And State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Akure, on Wednesday struck out a petition filed by the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and its Candidate, Fadesola Atilade Ojamomi against the reelection of a member representing Ilaje Constituency 1, Hon (Prince) Abayomi Akinruntan.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Akinruntan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 18, 2023 State Assembly election, but not satisfied, Ojamomi approached the Tribunal that there were alleged irregularities during the polls in the constituency.
However delivering judgment in the case, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Rose Soji, that the motion on notice filed by the first and second petitioners praying the tribunal to withdraw the petition against Akinruntan is granted as prayed.
In the withdrawal motion filed by the petitioners’ Counsel, Mr Victor Ajayi, said “That the Petitioners are parties in the matter. That the Petitioners have decided to withdraw the matter
“That Petitioners are withdrawing the petition for the interest of the people in the constituency and the state. That the Petitioners are withdrawing the petition for the purpose of exercising their constitutional right.”
The lawyer to the Respondents, Mr Olumide Ogidan did not oppose the motion brought in pursuant to section 29 of the First Schedule Of The Electoral Act, 2022 And Under The Inherent Jurisdiction Of the Election Petition Tribunal.
Consequently, Justice Rose Soji dismissed the petition and granted the withdrawal motion and upheld the election of Akinruntan.
Reacting to the verdict, Hon Abayomi Akinruntan who expressed delight over the development, said “we will appreciate the candidate for the spirit of sportsmanship in the interest of Ilaje development and unity.
“Also to add that the judgement will further pave way for my aspiration to lead the 10th assembly as the speaker of the house considering the fact that I’m the most Senior and experienced lawmaker returning as a 3rd timer in the 10th Assembly,” Akinruntan said.