Emerging details from the final addresses by lawyers to Prince Dapo Abiodun of All Progressives Congress, APC, indicate that the petition by the Governorship candidate of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, at the Governorship election petitions tribunal, lacked merit and may be thrown out vey soon.
According to the final addresses by lawyers to Prince Dapo Abiodun,Ogun state Governor and the APC at the tribunal, former House of Rep. representing Egbado South and Ipokia Federal constituency and the APM “have failed in their attempt to stridently but erroneously prove their petitions” which was premised on seven grounds, but hinged mainly on two grounds (1)alleged over voting in 500 units , and (II)the educational qualification of Prince Dapo Abiodun to contest the election.
Abiodun was adjudged the winner of the March 9 Governorship election, Abiodun scored a total of 241,670 votes to clinch victory while the APM candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, scored 222,153 votes – The total number of registered voters was 2,375,003 while the total number of accredited voters was 708,807.
..More so, the consequence of submitting a false document to INEC is grave and non existing. It, therefore, requires precise evidence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which the Petitioners have not been able to establish ” Professor Osipitan SAN stated
They were unable to prove to the Tribunal that Dapo Abiodun produced Forged Certificate, instead it was stated that he produced False document. Meaning there is no provision for FALSE DOCUMENT in constitution.
If you remember, section 1(3) of the 1999 constitution.
”Where any law is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution,the constitution prevails and the law in its inconsistency remains void”
On evidence admitted from the petitions, all 34 witnesses said they were not at the polling units as none had substantially proven series of the allegations made against the conduct of the election according to electoral umpire. (INEC)
INEC explained that, the report of alleged over voting by the petitioner were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Professor Osipitan SAN explained that all 34 witnesses provided by Akinlade signed the result sheets and there is no proof any of the petitioners witnesses were molested or signed under duress.
The addresses also buttressed their conclusion on the Akinlade petition with the failure of the APm’s so called “expert” witness to prove the claims made in the petition.
The “expert” tendered 34 pink copies (exhibits) in support of his testimonies, he did not attach any evidence where and when the analysis were done. The tribunal Admitted that all pink copies that the so call expert presented were analyzed after submission of APM petitions.
Similarly, his testimony, in all respects, only amounts to manipulations, conjecture, and speculations,” the lawyers stated.
Prince Dapo Abiodun were able to prove it beyond reasonable doubt there is no over voting , Even if you subtract 34 polling units votes called by Akinlade’s witnesses from the Total vote cast , Dapo Abiodun will still lead with Over 10,000 votes.
To our surprise, Akinlade legal team support Abiodun legal team that:
“It is apparent that from the pleadings and evidence adduced led by the Petitioners there is no scintilla or iota of evidence to prove that Prince Dapo Abiodun was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election.
It is trite law that he who asserts must prove,” the address emphasized but Akinlade’s Legal team claimed Dapo Abiodun used false document.
Professor Osipitan SAN explained further that, the second respondent did not claimed to have graduated from University of Ife in the nomination form.
He said the petitioner’s claim of credentials falsification was not relevant with the 2019 election matter, saying the section 138 sub-section (1e) of the 2010 electoral Act cited by the petitioner in the final written address was in conflict with the Nigerian constitution and was not enough to call for cancellation of the election in the 142 polling units.
Abiodun’s address stated, “While it is appropriate to debunk such baseless, mendacious and spurious assertion, it suffices to bring to fore the unequivocal provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which states the requirement for a candidate to contest the Governorship election Section 131 provides that; A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the Governor if – He has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
While the petitioners, the , APM presented 34 witnesses, Dapo Abiodun Legal team said it was not embarking on a journey of inviting witnesses because, according to the team, the witnesses brought by the APM did not counter the earlier submissions made by Abiodun.s legal team that there was no over voting.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Yusuf Halilu said the judgement date would be communicated to the lead counsels of the petitioners and respondents.