Monday, September 16, 2019 6:13 pm
It was jubilation galore at the premises of the Iyaganku Court in Ibadan today as news of the victory of Engineer Oluseyi Makinde at the governorship election tribunal filtered out.
The tribunal headed by Justice Sirajo Muhammed with Mussa Bazza and Elizabeth Orji as members had upheld INEC’s declaration of Makinde’s of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the March 9 governorship election in Oyo State.
Reading the six hour long judgment in the petition EPT/OY/GOV/01/2019, filed by Adebayo Adelabu and All Progressives Congress, APC, against INEC, Oluseyi Makinde, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Justice Muhammed held that the petitioners failed to prove his case.
The court held that the various allegations including over-voting, corrupt practices, substantial noncompliance with the electoral act 2010 brought before it could not be proven against the respondents stressing that most of the petitioners’ witnesses based their evidence on hearsay, not direct eyewitnesses accounts.
He further noted that the petitioners failed to plead any alternative scores against what was released by INEC or prove over-voting which was a statutory basis for cancellation of results, according to the electoral act and that the petitioner failed to tender voters register, relate statement of results to a specific unit or constituency to show that there was over-voting and that if removed will substantially affect the result of the election.
The court equally ruled out the allegation of anomalies, wrongful collation of results or unaccounted ballot papers, adding that no law compelled an accredited voter to vote.
The tribunal, noting that the petitioner presented 37 polling unit agents out of 1,426 polling units challenged, held that 1,389 units were deemed abandoned and it also invalidated the result of unit 003, ward 09, Ido local government because the returning officer produced two different results.
Dismissing the case, the tribunal awarded a cost of N600,000 against Adelabu and APC and also they are to pay each of the three respondents the sum of N200,000.