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Akinlade’s Petition Is “Lazy, Hollow” – Ogun Tribunal, Affirms Abiodun’s Election

Akinlade’s Petition Is “Lazy, Hollow” – Ogun Tribunal, Affirms Abiodun’s Election
  • PublishedSeptember 15, 2019

THE Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Saturday rubbished the petition filed against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State as lazy, hollow, deficient and pedestrian.

It threw out the petition filed by Mr. Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), and affirmed Abiodun as the winner of the March election.

The Justice Yusuf Halilu – led tribunal said the petitioners   “not only failed, but also irredeemably failed to prove” their allegations of over voting and substantial noncompliance with the electoral act during the polls.

An elated Abiodun described the judgement as the triumph of the rule of law; victory for democracy and a further validation of the mandate bestowed on him by the people.

The Governor said he remained magnanimous in victory and extended, once again, a hand of fellowship to the opposition.

The tribunal also resolved in favour of Abiodun, allegation by Akinlade that the respondent  tendered  false  academic qualification to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in his sworn affidavit.

It held that the Petitioner “woefully failed” to prove the allegation.

Halilu said: “no reasonable court or Tribunal of competent jurisdiction will entertain such,” adding  that Akinlade’s petition “ is destined to fail, failed and is hereby dismissed.”

He said that Abiodun was duly elected by virtue of scoring the highest number of valid votes cast by voters and declared winner by INEC.

Hundreds of supporters of the governor  who had gathered round the roads and building adjoining the court  at Isabo, Abeokuta, launched  into a frenzy as soon as they heard the verdict.

They drummed, sang, danced and back-slapped one another.

The jubilation soon spread to other parts of the city.

Reacting, Governor Abiodun told Akinlade and other opposition politicians to join APC or start preparing for the 2023 general elections.

He said that rather than dissipating energy and resources on litigation, they should either negotiate their return to the All Progressives Congress (APC) where they were or start preparing for the next elections.

“Opposition strengthens democracy and I appreciate the fact that he went to the Tribunal in exercise of his constitutional rights.  The Tribunal has validated the mandate freely given to us by the masses at the polls,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin.

He added: “The candidate and all members of APM and indeed members of other parties are free to join APC.

“Those who are still aggrieved should learn that democracy is about majority rule. The people have spoken and the Tribunal has validated their choice of me. Anybody who feels otherwise should start preparing for 2023.”

Gov Abiodun thanked the people of Ogun State for their support and solidarity, promising that he would not take their mandate for granted as he would continue to work towards enhancing the people’s welfare, peace and prosperity of the State.

He thanked the judiciary for the painstaking efforts and fair and lucid judgement which has further strengthened the nation’s democracy and enriched the jurisprudence.

Gov Abiodun eulogised his legal team led by Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) for their demonstration of depth, dedication and brilliance and applauded the support of the APC leadership in Ogun State for the solidarity, love and firm commitment to the course of justice.

He assured the people of his Administration’s commitment to providing a focused and on qualitative governance anchored on fairness, equity and inclusiveness.

Abiodun was declared winner of the election by INEC with 241, 670 votes while   Akinlade, who was the preferred candidate of the then Governor Ibikunle Amosun  received  222,153 votes.

African Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate, Prince Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka came third, scoring over 110,400 votes while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Buruji Kashamu, polled 70,290 votes.

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