The Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal weekend dismissed the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and its Governorship candidate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade saying it was destined to fail.
Akinlade had challenged the election of Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was declared winner of the March 9 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal led by Justice Yusuf Halilu in 4hours 36 minutes long judgment stated, “This petition does not only fail, it is destined to fail, it fails and hereby dismissed” and confirmed the victory of Governor Abodun’s victory at the Saturday, March 9 Governorship election.
Akinlade through his lead Counsel, Mamman Osunma (SAN) had gone to court to challenge Abiodun’s victory, alleging among other things, that the governor lied about the certificates he possesses. He also alleged there was over voting in some voting centres as well as alleged the APC did not substantially complied with the electoral law.
The INEC, APC were joined in the suit which started in April.
Akinlade was sponsored by the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, even though he stood on the platform of the APC to win the Ogun Central senatorial district.
But the three-man tribunal, headed by Justice Yusuf Halilu dismissed all of Akinlade’s prayers, saying the petitioner failed to prove all the allegations.
Prof. Taiwo Osipitan led 15 other lawyers to defend Gov Abiodun while Mamman Osunma led other lawyers to argue Akinlade’s case. The APM called 39 witnesses while APC called 35.
On the allegation of not disclosing full details about his certificates, the tribunal said that the issue had already been decided by a court of appeal.
On the allegation about the governor lied about the certificate he presented to INEC, the tribunal agreed that the issue was a pre-election matter which ought to have been filed 14 days before the election.
Besides, the tribunal agreed that there was nowhere Abiodun told INEC that he graduated from the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), adding that what Abiodun said was that he attended the university but he didn’t say he graduated.
Halilu explained that what the governor stated in his INEC form was that he possessed a WAEC certificate which had already been determined by the Appeal Court and that it ended the matter.
“The petitioners have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the information submitted by Dapo Abiodun in form CF001 amount to false information.
Halilu’s tribunal was the third set up by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to handle Akinlade’s case.