IBADAN – The Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has unanimously dismissed an appeal suit filed by APM, Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun.
The Court upheld the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while discussing the appeal of the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) as lacking in merits.
Recall that the Ogun state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital had also earlier upheld the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the authentic winner of the guber election held in the state on March 9, 2019.
In its judgement delivered in Abeokuta, the three-man Tribunal headed by Justice Yusuf Halilu struck out the petition filled by the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) Hon. Adekunle Akinlade against Governor Abiodun on the ground that the petitioner failed, “woefully” and “irredeemably” to discharge the burden of proof of the allegations contained in his petition.
Akinlade who was the first petitioner in a petition marked EPT/OG/GOV/01/19 had approached the Tribunal, praying it to nullify the declaration of Abiodun as the duly elected winner of the March 9 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on two grounds.
Praying the Tribunal to declare him as the winner of the Ogun guber election, the APM candidate alleged that Governor Abiodun falsified documents submitted to INEC about his qualification and that the election was marred with over voting in many polling units across the state.
Akinlade alleged that Abiodun in his Form CF001 submitted before INEC contained false information, adding that the electoral body aided his qualification through the form.
The petitioner posited that the alleged false information was fundamental in nature to Abiodun’s qualification to contest March 9 election.
But delivering judgment, the Justice Halilu-led three-man Tribunal in a judgment which lasted over five hours, unanimously held that the issues of false information was pre-election matter that had been decided by the Court of Appeal.
The Tribunal also described the evidences given by the petitioner’s witnesses as “lazy, shallow and deficient.”
The tribunal said the inability of the petitioner to bring up sufficient witnesses to bring up evidences had done “irredeemable damage” to the petition.
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