ABEOKUTA – Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Monday urged the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta to dismiss the petition filed by the governorship candidate of Allied Peoples Movement, APM, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade.
The APM’s governorship candidate, Akinlade through his counsel, Mamman Osunma, SAN prayed the court to invalidate the election result for over voting in 142 polling units.
Osunma further said the results of the election should be cancelled following alleged false information by the second respondent claiming to have graduated from University of Ife which was in contrary to section 138 sub-section 1e of the 2010 Electoral Act.
But Gov. Abiodun through his lead counsel at the Tribunal, Professor Taiwo Osipitan, SAN asked the court to discountenance Akinlade’s petition for failure to prove over voting beyond reasonable doubt by presenting 34 witnesses for 142 polling units.
Osipitan said even though the second respondent decided to use the submission of the 34 witnesses by canceling the results, Abiodun would have won with over 12,000 votes.
He argued that, the petitioner only presented forensic expert whose material used for the forensic report could not be relied upon because there was no documented report before the tribunal.
“The law says to determine an over voting, you must have eye witness account of what happened at the polling units. The results were also signed fresh without disturbance.”
“Their allegation is inconsistent and lack merit. They are simply unprepared and petty. Are we here to be discussing ‘forced’ which is null and void before the law on matter of qualification when it is suppose to be forged. And in a matter of forged it is pure pre-election matter”.
“And in P35B on the issue of forms filled with INEC. Prince Dapo Abiodun only wrote I attended OAU. Attendance is different from graduation. INEC didn’t ask if you graduated from OAU. They only asked the school you attended and till now there has not been conflicting arguments from OAU or Registrar that he didn’t attend the school at all. “
“Section 318 only ask for SSCE and he went further to say I attended this school, and he never said he graduated from their. Our petitioners should do their home work”, he submitted.
Osipitan however prayed the court to dismiss the petition against his client, insisting that the petition was “dead before arrival and deserves” a “befitting burial”.
The three – men panel Tribunal justices, after a careful hearing of both parties’ written addresses and submissions, put all witnesses and evidences into consideration adopted the submissions and declared to reserve judgement until further notice.
Justice Yusuf however assured that a date would be communicated with 48hours notice for final judgement.