The Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who has consistently evaded court service, no longer has a place to hide as the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in the state has approved substituted service on him.
The Tribunal ordered, on Tuesday, that election petition notices filed against Mr. Mimiko by two political parties be pasted on the wall of the entrance of the Labour Party (LP) secretariat in Akure. This directive followed an Ex-parte motion moved by the counsels to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and its candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu. The Tribunal held that the pasted petition shall be deemed as good as serving the respondent.
Counsels to Mr. Akeredolu Titiloye Charles, Desmond Adejumola and Kola Olawoye told the Election Tribunal that Mr. Mimiko has evaded service of the petition by the Tribunal bailiff in the past one week. Mr. Charles noted that while INEC had been served, LP was only served on Monday and all attempts to serve the governor proved abortive.
The Election Tribunal granted leave to the petitioners to move their application outside pre-hearing session. The Tribunal also granted a similar leave to the Accord Party and its candidate, Olawale Ojo, to serve their petition on the governor by substituted service by pasting same on the wall of the LP Secretariat.
The Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Democratic Change, and Congress for Progressive Change have similar applications for substituted service of their petitions on Mr. Mimiko, before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal stated that it will hold its inaugural session on a subsequent date to be communicated to parties in the election disputes.