Ondo State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has declared that it will continue to pursue its petition before the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, describing rumours that it has withdrawn its petition before the tribunal as a ruse.
The party also insisted that only its leadership at the state level has the power to withdraw any petition filed before the tribunal and nobody else.
In a statement made available to journalists on Saturday in Akure through its State Secretary, Agbaje Abiodun and the National Deputy Chairman, Ayo Olorunfemi, the party declared its readiness to continue to pursue its petition before the tribunal.
The party noted that the purported withdrawal of the petition challenging its unlawful exclusion by INEC from Akoko North-East/North West Federal Constituency in the February 25, 2023 National Assembly Elections, was a failed plan orchestrated by some APC leaders to compromise the Petition by putting serious pressure on its candidate to do so, even when the Electoral Act clearly states that the candidate cannot withdraw the joint petition on behalf of the party.
Also, the party informed that it has not changed her counsel in the petition, saying that its counsel remains Femi Emmanuel Emodamori, adding that whoever claims to be the new counsel instructed to take over and withdraw the petition was probably procured by the APC leaders.
Recall that the Election Petition Tribunal had announced that it received a motion for discontinuance of two out of the nine petitions in respect of the February 25 National Assembly election in the state.
The Secretary of the tribunal, Musa Adam, stated that the withdrawn petitions were each in respect of the Senate and House of Representatives elections.
Adam explained Ademuyiwa Ademola, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Akoko North-East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency withdrew his petition against Oluwabunmi Tunji-Ojo, the candidate of APC, who INEC declared the winner.
But the Labour Party, however, insisted that “nobody has the power to withdraw the petition except the party leaders, and we could not have engaged any new counsel to destroy our own case.”