The Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal on Monday struck out a petition filed by the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, against the Senator-elect in the Ondo North Senatorial District, Pastor Jide Ipinsigba.
Ruling on the case, Rose Soji, the Chairman of the tribunal, said “the motion on notice filed by the first petitioner, the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, praying the tribunal to withdraw the petition is granted as prayed.
“The petition is hereby dismissed,” she said.
Earlier, the NNPP’s counsel, Segun Ogodo, had applied to withdraw the case and told the tribunal of his client’s interest to discontinue the petition.
“The party which is NNPP that I’m representing has shown interest to withdraw the petition against the respondents, Pastor Ipinsigba, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC and accordingly the court has granted the application.
“The second petitioner, Phillip Alonge, earlier on also brought an application to discontinue the petition but he had no appearance in court today and the petition literarily appears to be abandoned.
If the second petitioner does not appear in person in court at the next adjourned date, the court has discretion to do what it likes and it may strike out the petition,” he stated.
The respondent’s counsel, Moradele Oke, said that he would not oppose the application.
“This should be the fourth proceeding that we would be appearing. The first petitioner’s application has been granted and the second petitioner has also filed an application to withdraw further presence in the case and the tribunal took a careful examination on the process and duly struck out the name of the first petitioner.
“The implication is that the petition subsists because the second petitioner is still on record and he has the liberty to be given a hearing,” he said.
The tribunal, therefore, adjourned the case to May 24 for the continuation of the hearing on the second petition.