The Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal convened in Abeokuta has affirmed the victory of Governor Dapo Abiodun, representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday.
Chaired by Justice Hamidu Kunazaa, the three-member tribunal ruled that Abiodun’s election in the March 18th poll was valid, according to reports of the News Agency of Nigeria.
This decision came in response to a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Mr Ladi Adebutu, seeking to invalidate Governor Abiodun’s election.
Details of the 3-man tribunal ruling on the petitions against Governor Abiodun
After an exhaustive 11-hour deliberation, the tribunal determined that the evidence presented failed to establish the merit of the petition.
The judges concluded that the petitioners could not sufficiently prove allegations of electoral guidelines violation, overvoting, voter disenfranchisement, or corrupt practices during the election beyond a remarkable doubt,
Justice Kunaza, while delivering the judgement, emphasized that the petitioners had not effectively demonstrated non-compliance with the Electoral Act (2022) and had not met the burden of proof.
- “On the whole, the petitioners have not successfully proved the allegation of non-compliance with the Electoral Act (2022) and have not discharged the burden of proof,’’ he said.
Regarding claims of voter disenfranchisement, the tribunal found no direct evidence to substantiate the allegations.
Furthermore, regarding the call for Governor Abiodun’s disqualification based on allegations of a criminal record, the court determined that there was no evidence of conviction in a United States court.
In conclusion, Justice Kunaza declared, “I uphold the election of Dapo Abiodun as the duly elected governor of Ogun State in the March 18 election.”
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had previously declared Abiodun the winner of the election, with 276,298 votes, surpassing Adebutu, who garnered 262,382 votes.