The House of Representatives Election Petitions Tribunal in Lagos state has upheld the election and re-run election of Kolawole Taiwo of the APC as the representative of Ajeromi Ifelodun federal constituency.
The chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Hamidu Kunasa, dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the constituency, Rita Orji, challenging Taiwo’s election.
Justice Kunasa held that the basis on which Orji premised her allegations were largely invalid.
He said INEC acted within the confines of constitutional frameworks in both the election of February 23, 2019 and the consequent supplementary election held on April 27, 2019.
The tribunal faulted the petitioner for filing a petition at a court in Kubwa Abuja, on a post-election matter which is really a preserve of the tribunal.
“The Kubwa Court’s stand is not binding on this court, we have jurisdiction”, he maintained.
The tribunal also discountenanced the petitioner’s prayer to be declared winner of the said election as the grounds of argument were of no value.
The tribunal absolved the first respondent ( INEC) of any involvement in corrupt practices in the conduct of the elections.
According to Justice Kunasa, the Petitioner failed to prove any of the three counts. The tribunal upheld INEC’s decision that Taiwo was the validly elected member at the Federal House of Representatives for Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal constituency.
Speaking after the judgment INEC’s counsel, Mr Tijani Ishola expressed satisfaction with the tribunal’s decision.
”The laws are very clear with regards to election petitions and it is the duty of any party who alleges to prove his case.
”The tribunal has done justice by resolving all issues raised by the petitioner and the respondents and the beauty of election petitions in this case is that they look at the facts on ground and facts adduced by the party, so that at the end of the day, every party involved will believe strongly that Justice has been done.
“In this our case, although it has taken us a long while, but we are glad that we are having the day and regardless of where the pendulum is swinging, judgment has been done.”