17th October, 2019
The Court of Appeal in Ibadan on Thursday reserved judgement in an appeal by Sen. Abiola Ajimobi challenging the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal on Feb. 23 National Assembly Election for Oyo South.
The Election Petition Tribunal had upheld the victory of Sen. Kola Balogun (Oyo South) in Feb. 23 National Assembly election.
The Justice Haruna Samani led a three-man panel, which has Justices Okoronkwo and Ojo as members told counsel for both the appellants and respondents that judgment would be communicated to them at a later date.
The panel of justices reserved judgment after adoption of the written addresses of the appellants; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Ajimobi whose legal team was led by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), and respondents: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sen. Kola Balogun and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Olujimi in his submission had challenged the qualification of Balogun to participate in Feb. 23 election on the ground that he did not participate in the PDP primary election but was selected.
He further argued that the National Assembly Election Tribunal did not properly evaluate the evidence brought before it before delivering judgment in the petition.
However, counsel to the INEC, Balogun, and PDP respectively refuted the claim by the appellants stressing that the tribunal through due diligence examined all evidence tendered before it.
The respondent’s lawyers were led by Messrs Ademola Osuolale, Olalekan Ojo (SAN) and Oluwasesan Dada.
They added that the issue raised on the primary election of PDP lacked merit as being proposed by the appellant as the basis for nullifying the candidature of Balogun, the second respondent.
The result of the Feb. 23 election as declared by INEC indicated that Balogun won his closest rival, Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressive Congress with a vote difference of 13,502.
The PDP candidate ended the contest with a total of 105,720 votes while the candidate of the APC had 92,217 votes.