Justice Yusuf Halilu led Ogun election Petition Tribunal has finally reserved judgement for the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in the March 9 governorship election, Hon. Abdulkabir Akinlade against Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun Governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State.
Akinlade had in his petition challenged the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of Prince Abiodun who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
Akinlade through his counsel, Mamman Osunma, SAN also queried the information provided by Abiodun that he graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Osunma further argued that the information provided by the second respondent (Abiodun) were false by claiming to have graduated from the institution as contrary to Section 138 (1e) of the 2010 Electoral Act.
But Counsel to Dapo Abiodun, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, insisted that the section of the electoral act cited by the petitioner was in conflict with the Nigerian constitution.
Osipitan further argued that all the results of the election were presumed to be correct, genuine and valid, saying that the burden rest on the petitioners to prove his allegations.
“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.”
On qualification and alleged certificate forgery, Prof. Osipitan explained that the petitioner used the word ‘forced’ documents instead of the word ‘forged’, saying there was no forced in Section 182, subsection 1 paragraph 8 of the Electoral Act.
“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 PE only ask for SSCE and he went further to say I attended this school, and he never said he graduated from there. The petitioners should do their home work”, he submitted.
Osipitan however prayed the court to dismiss the petition against his client, insisting that the was “dead before arrival and deserves” a “befitting burial”.
Justice Yusuf however assured that a date would be communicated with 48hours notice for final judgement.