The election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osun on Friday dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiola Omisore, seeking to nullify the result of the governorship election in the state, the Nigerian Politics Online is reporting.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had returned Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the August 9, 2014 governorship election, a verdict challenged by Mr. Omisore.
In its ruling, according to Nigeria Politics Online (whose reporter was in court), the tribunal held that the witnesses called by the petitioner did not provide compelling evidence to support the petitioner’s claim of corrupt practices during the election.
The tribunal also held that there was nothing to show that the election was conducted without substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“The testimonies of these witnesses are unsatisfactory and PDP forensic analyst did not show that ballot papers were not used accordingly,” the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, said.
“As such, their testimonies failed to support their claims. None of them gave evidence on the issue of multiple voting, which they earlier claimed. The panel also held that issue of multiple voting was not found in his examination. On allegations of over-voting, no single evidence of over voting was proved. Similarly, on the allegations that O’Yes was used as INEC officials, there is no such evidence.”
The panel also held that the inability of the petitioner to prove his allegation that security operatives were compromised during the election further damaged the substance of the petition.
Mr. Omisore had on August 29 petitioned the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo to challenge the victory of Mr. Aregbesola.
The PDP candidate’s petition, which was in three volumes, claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Mr. Aregbesola, and that some members of the O-YES were used as INEC ad hoc staff, while some security agents were compromised.
To emerge winner of the August 9 election contested by 20 political parties, Mr. Aregbesola polled a total of 394,684 votes, winning the highest number of votes in 22 of the 30 Local Government Areas of the state.
Mr. Omisore, His closest challenger, polled 292,747 votes to come second. He won in eight local government areas.
The candidate of the Labour Party [LP], Fatai Akinbade, received a paltry 8,898 votes to come a distant third.