The National Assembly election petition tribunal in Oyo State on Saturday dismissed petitions against three members of the House of Representatives in the state.
Elections of the three lawmakers whose the election petition tribunal upheld on Saturday are Hon. Musliudeen Olaide Akinremi, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe and Hon. Olayemi Taiwo who represents Ibadan North, Oluyole and Ido/ Ibarapa Central constituencies respectively.
According to reports, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Akinremi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akande-Sadipe also of APC and Taiwo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winners of the House of Representatives elections during the last general polls.
However, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ibadan North, Ademola Omotoso approached the election petition tribunal urging the tribunal to declare him (Omotoso) the winner.
Also, PDP candidate in Oluyole, Mr. Mojeed Mogbonjubola also kicked against Akande-Sadipe’s victory when he approached the tribunal to declare him (Mogbojubola) as the winner.
Professor Adeniyi Olowofela of APC also approached the tribunal as he prayed the tribunal to declare him (Olowofela) winner of the Ido/ Ibarapa East federal constituency election against Taiwo of PDP.
The petitioners were contesting that the elections were marred by malpractices; failure to comply with the provision of electoral Act and that the respondents did not win by the required number of valid votes.
The petitioners also wanted the order of the tribunal to declare them winners or in the alternative that the elections were nullified.
But, in upholding Akinremi’s victory as the winner of Ibadan North federal constituency election held in February this year, the judges who were unanimous in their decision in favour of the lawmaker, also awarded the sum of N150, 000 cost against Omotoson of PDP.
Delivering judgment in favour of Akinremi, the three-man panel of the tribunal which has Justice Anthony Akpovi as Chairman, Justice Sambo Daka and Justice Chinyere Ani as members unanimously said Omotoso’s petition lacked merit.
The tribunal also dismissed petition filled by Mogbonjubola of the PDP in Oluyole Federal Constituency against Akande-Sadipe and another petition filed by Olowofela of the APC against Taiwo in Ido/Ibarapa East constituency.
The judges said the petitions lack merit and awarded cost of N150,000 each against the petitioners.
The tribunal held that no election conducted in the world without minor error and that the petitioners failed to prove that the substantial non-compliance affected the outcome of the election.
The panel further said that the petitioners failed to tender necessary documents and witnesses to defend their petition, adding that, the burden to prove that the election failed to comply with the provision of the Electoral Act lies with the petitioner.(dpa)