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Friday, 9 October 2015
Tribunal orders rerun of Ogun Assembly election
The National and State Houses of Assembly tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta Friday ordered fresh election to be conducted in Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu East, Ipokia and Ijebu North local government areas of Ogun state.
In Ijebu Ode, Tola Banjo, a former deputy speaker had challenged the election of Wale Alausa of the PDP, alleging manipulation of the polls in some wards in the town. But in giving its verdict today, the Tribunal ordered rerun in 14 polling units in Wards 6 and 7 in the town, to determine the real winner.
While delivering judgment on the Ijebu East House of Assembly election won by Adejunwon O. Oyenuga of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the tribunal ordered that fresh election be conducted in 7 units where irregularities were noticed.
The Petitioner, Bola Akeem Badejo of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had approached the court asking for nullification of the election and asked that he be declared as the winner of the election.
In the case EPT/OGSA/ABK/001/2015,the tribunal having analysed the defence by counsel to both parties, observed irregularities and manipulation in some areas and ordered for nullification of results in the affected areas.
The tribunal, after deducting the results from those areas where irregularities have been noticed, declared that the total votes remaining for the respondent did not meet the requirements opf the Electoral Act, and thus called for a rerun in those areas.
At the end, total votes believed to have been scored by the respondent, after the deduction of the results from the units where there were irregularities added up to 7,050 votes while the petitioner scored 7, 151 votes.
In the Ipokia local government election,the petitioner, Sewanu Felicia Towakennu-Olatunde of the APC challenged the victory of the respondent, Adebowale Vinwanu Ojo of the PDP.
The tribunal said the petitioner called nine witnesses while the respondent invited six witnesses.
The tribunal stated that the evidences of the petitioner’s witnesses were not discredited under cross examination, adding that the respondent’s counsel did not proffer convincing evidence and that the irregularities were capable of discrediting the result of the entire election.
The tribunal confirmed claims from both parties there were a lot of irregularities, ranging from alteration, manipulation, cancellation, stuffing of ballot boxes, mutilation of votes and others.
The petitioner’s claim hereby upheld and the tribunal annulled elections in 38 units, and ordered for fresh election to be conducted in the areas affected.
Total votes recorded for the respondent after the deduction of the results from the 38 units where irregularities were noticed were 15,210, while the petitioner scored 14,946 votes.
The tribunal ordered rerun election in those areas within 90 days from the day of the ruling.
In the Ijebu North 1 State Constituency, there was a split decision, but the Majority decision annulled part of the election and called for a rerun in some units where irregularities were noticed.
The petitioner, Adebayo Adebola of the APC approached the tribunal to challenge the victory of Oluyinka Solaja Bowale of the PDP.
Solaja is returning to the house, having been a member in the last legislature.
Election was nullified in 67 units based on irregularities and rerun was ordered in the said areas.
One of the judges disagreed with the majority judgment, and affirmed that “I find no merit in the petition and hereby uphold the result of the respondent.”
The election of the petition filed by APC candidate from Ijebu North East, Abayomi Fasua, challenging the victory of Olujimi Otukoya of the PDP, was struck out and upheld the result of the winner.
The tribunal said,”it is our view that for any petition to succeed for non compliance, it must not be on the document but the lead.
“The law is settled on this case and we are of the view that there is no link between the document and the evidences of the witnesses.
“The petition is hereby dismissed and the return of the winner is upheld,” the judge declared.
As at the time of filling this report, judgment was still ongoing in cases involving four state Houses of Assembly, two National Assembly cases.