Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:55 pm
The Oyo State National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Tuesday September 10, 2019 dismissed the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, challenging the victory of Senator Muhammad Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 Senatorial election, asking the court to declare its candidate, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the erstwhile governor of the state, winner of the election.
It will be recalled that in a petition No. EPT/0Y/SEN/12/2019, the APC had alleged that there were irregularities in accreditation, especially the smart card reader reports, arguing that a flawed accreditation in several unit across all nine local government areas that make up Oyo South Senatorial District amount to a flawed election.
Also, citing section 137 of the Electoral Act, (as amended), APC alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has a maker of the electoral document, was bound to defend the election on behalf of its elected officials, but it failed to do so.
But in its unanimous decision, the tribunal, headed by Justice Anthony Akpovi, disagreed with the petitioner, hence upheld the election of Senator Balogun representing Oyo South Senatorial district. Other members of the tribunal are: Justice Sambo Daka and Justice Chinyere Ani.
The tribunal ruled that Senator Ajimobi lost the election to Senator Balogun, stressing that the facts before it proved that Ajimobi, indeed, lost the election.
According to the tribunal, in its judgment which lasted two hours, forty three minutes, APC failed woefully to prove its case, stressing that even if deductions were made, Ajimobi would still lose clearly.
The tribunal awarded N150, 000 damages against the APC as against N2 million demanded by the respondent.
Outside the court, there was wide jubilation by the supporters of the PDP as the news of the judgment filtered outside the courtroom.
Earlier, contrary to the claim of the petition of Mulikat Adeola-Akande, the tribunal had upheld the election of Senator AbdulFatai Buhari as duly elected for the Oyo North Senatorial district in the 2019 election.
In a petition No. EPT/OY/SEN/09/2019, the tribunal held that that the premise upon which Adeola Akande and her party rested their case was wrong hence awarding a cost of N150, 000 against her and her party.