OGUN: TRIBUNAL UPHOLDS ABIODUN’S ELECTION

The Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal in Abeokuta, has affirmed the victory of Prince Dapo Abodun’s victory at the last governorship election.The Allied Peoples Movement, (APM) and its candidate, Adekunle Akinlade have petitioned the tribunal, alleging that the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun did not qualify to contest.The APM and its candidate, Akinlade had filed a petition marked EPT/OG?GOV?01/19 before the tribunal alleging over-voting.The Justice Yusuf Halilu-led panel had on August 19 this year reserved its ruling shortly after all parties adopted final written addresses before the tribunal.During the last  March 9 election, Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to be declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while Akinlade scored 222,153 votes.The candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC),  Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, who contested the governorship election  for the third time,  polled  110,422 votes, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Prince Buruji Kashamu polled 70,290 votes.The APM candidate, Akinlade through his lead counsel, Mamman Osunma (SAN) had gone to court to challenge Abiodun’s victory, alleging among other things, that he told lies about the certificates he posses. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Abiodun’s All Progressives Congress (APC) were joined in the suit which started in April.But the three-man Tribunal, headed by Justice Yusuf Halilu  dismissed all Akinlade’s prayers, saying the petitioner failed woefully to prove all the allegations.In a four-hour, 36 minutes judgment, Halilu stated, “This petition does not only fail, it is destined to fail, it fails and hereby dismissed. The petitioner did not fail but irredeemably failed to prove the over-voting and malpractices allegations.”the tribunal stated.Abiodun, in his reaction, described the judgement as “the triumph of rule of law; victory for democracy and  further validation of the mandate bestowed on him at the polls.”In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Kunle Somorin, said he remained magnanimous in victory and extended, once again, a hand of fellowship to all opposition elements in the state and called on the opposition Allied Peoples Movement (APM) to forget about 2019 gubernatorial elections and join hand with his government on its “Building Our Future Together Agenda.”In a statement issued and signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Ogun APC Caretaker Committee of the APC,  Tunde Oladunjoye, the party commended the panel of judges for “a detailed and thorough job that is so clear, convincing and beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, justice has been served”.The statement read: “The party wishes to commend the judges for a thorough job done. The detailed nature of the judgement clears all doubts and reconfirms our belief that the petition by Abdulkabir Akinlade, APM and their sponsors as mere distractions  by sore losers.”“It is very commendable that the judgment of the tribunal was relayed live on radio  and television stations and streamed on the internet. This has exposed the lack of depth, procedurally contaminated and virus invested petition to the whole world.  In fact, it is very shameful for a candidate and party  that were touting to govern a so educationally advanced state like Ogun”.“Our advice is for these people to desist from their distractions and join Prince Dapo Abiodun in building the future of Ogun State together. The governor has been running the promised all inclusive government”.“While thanking our party leaders and members for standing steadfast,  we also commend the section of the media that has remained ethical and unbiased.”, APC stated.

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