The Oyo State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday upheld the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Monsurat Sunmonu, as the duly elected representative for Oyo Central Senatorial District.
Ms. Summonu’s victory at the March 28 National Assembly election was challenged by Bisi Ilaka of the Accord Party.
Also joined as co-respondents in the petition were the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In a three-hour judgement delivered on Tuesday, the tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
The chairman of the tribunal, J.G. Abundaga, said the onus of proof rested on the petitioner who, however, failed to lead evidence to prove his case.
“It must be borne in mind that the petition must succeed on the strength of its own case and not rely on the witness or any perceived witnesses.
“However, in view of all the lapses and evidence of the witnesses’ essential, the petitioner is far from establishing a case of malpractice.
“The proof of the petitioner was made worse by the conclusion reached in their report and the oral evidence of Principal Witness (PW1),
Adeleke Adebisi, who admitted under cross-examination that from the outcome of their inspection after the deduction of all the votes, the first respondent still led by a total of 3, 502 votes.
The judge also said that the petitioner failed to establish the dual citizenship allegedly held by Ms. Summonu.
Reacting to her victory, Ms. Summonu said that the petition was frivolous and aimed at aborting the will of the electorate.
The counsel to the petitioner, Olawale Omoloye, however, said that further action would only be taken after consultation with his client.
“We can’t probably say if he would appeal the judgement, we have to wait till we see him,” he said.
Mr. Ilaka had prayed the tribunal to declare that Ms. Summonu was not duly elected by majority of the votes cast and not qualified to contest.
He also prayed that he should be declared the winner of the election among other reliefs.
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