Ondo Tribunal uphold Ipinsagba's election after dismissing another petition

The Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Akure, has dismissed another petition filed by the candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Ondo North Senatorial District, Dr Olusegun Phillips-Alonge, challenging the victory of the senator-elect in the district, Pastor Jide Ipinsagba.

Recall that the tribunal at the last adjournment date, had struck out a petition filed by the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) against the senator-elect in the Ondo North Senatorial District, Jide Ipinsagba. 

While the court, led by the Chairman of the tribunal, Rose Soji, had ordered the candidate of the NNPP, Dr Olusegun Phillips-Alonge, to appear in person in court today in order to prove his readiness and willingness to continue the case or strick out the case.

But at the resumed hearing of the case today, Phillips-Alonge did not show up again and no counsel came to either represent or stand for him in the court.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Rose Soji, however, said; "the petition is hereby dismissed."

Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yinka Orokoto, said; "the court dismissed the petition on the ground that the second petitioner, his counsel did not turn up at the last adjourned date and him as a person.

"So at the last adjourned date the court ordered that the second respondent who was the candidate of NNPP be serve the hearing notice for him to come but he is not in country at the moment.

"While bailiff spoke with him and the conversation was recorded where he said that he is no longer interested again (in the case) and that conversation has been converted into written and is before the court and on that basis, the court dismissed the petition."

While the respondent’s counsel, Moradele Oke, said that the case was adjourned till today for further proceedings because as at the last adjournment the first petitioner withdrew voluntarily while the second petitioner was not represented.

"As at the last adjournment, court now ordered that the court official should inform him, the second petitioner so that he will make himself available for today's proceedings. But unfortunately today, he was not in court and he was not also represented by any counsel and the consequences of that is that he has abandoned the case and the court cannot be waiting endlessly for unwilling litigants so the court has to do the needful by stricking it out.

"By that order of dismisal, it means that the petition has been terminated and there won't be any further proceedings on it, that is the end of the petition," the Counsel said.