Election Petitions: Ondo tribunal dismisses APC’s petition against lawmaker

Hon Joseph Akinlaja

The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday dismissed a petition against the Peoples Democratic candidate, Joseph Akinlaja.

The candidate of All Progressives Congress, Olabamidele Olanubi, had a filed a petition against Mr. Akinlaja challenging his victory in the March 28, 2015 House of Representatives election.

Mr. Olanubi, had through his counsel, Tunji Abayomi, prayed the tribunal to nullify the re-election of Mr. Akinlaja on the grounds that the election was characterized by irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

But the three-man panel led by Justice Ojobor Oga held that the petitioner failed to tender credible evidence or call credible witnesses to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.

According to the judgement read by Justice A.B. Akogun, the PDP candidate scored the highest lawful votes cast at the poll contrary to the claim by his APC opponent.

Reacting to the judgement, the APC candidate and his counsel, Mr. Abayomi expressed dissatisfaction over the judgement and insisted that the verdict would be challenged at the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Akinlaja on his part, said the judgement has confirmed that he was duly re-elected by the people of Ondo East/West Federal Constituency to represent them at the National Assembly.

The tribunal, however, reserved judgment on the APC petition seeking to upturn the election of PDP’s Kolade Akinjo representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo for October 6, 2015.

The date for the judgement was fixed after the submissions of both parties during the sitting of the court.

The petitioner, Orimisan Ayedatiwa, of the APC prayed the court to declare him as duly elected candidate, noting that the respondent was not qualified to contest the election under of the platform of PDP because he was still a member of the Labour Party as at the time the poll was conducted on March 28, 2015.

The APC counsel, Yinka Orokoto, in his submission, told the tribunal that he had submitted enough evidence to show that the PDP lawmaker was not duly registered as the PDP member when he got the party’s ticket on the November 6, 2014.


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