There was jubilation in Ibadan, Jos and Umuahia on Tuesday when the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunals sitting in Oyo, Plateau and Abia states validated the electoral victories of Senators Abulfatai Buhari (All Progressives Congress Oyo North), Istifanus Gyang (Peoples Democratic Party Plateau North), and Theodore Orji (PDP Abia Central).
Their challengers, Messrs Mulikat Adeola-Akande (PDP), Sanusi Moh’d Inuwa (United Progressives Party), and Nkechi Nwogu (APC), rejected the tribunals’ verdicts and expressed their readiness to appeal the judgments.
The Oyo tribunal in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Sambo Daka said the petitioners, Adeola-Akande and the PDP, failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
Other members of the panel are Justice Anthony Akpovi (Chairman) and Justice Chinyere Ani.
The panel also awarded a cost of N150,000 against the petitioners, and refused to grant the request of the defendants for damages.
Buhari appreciated his party and his legal team led by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and his constituents for their support and prayers.
In validating the victory of Gyang in Jos, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Theophilus Nzeogwu, struck out the petition filed against the senator by the candidate of the UPP, Moh’d Inuwa, seeking to nullify his victory.
The tribunal chairman said, “The petitioner failed to prove his petition because he did not tender any document to show that he was indeed validly nominated to contest the Plateau North Senatorial District election.”
The Chairman of the tribunal in Umuahia, Justice Adeyinka Adebirigbe, while reading the judgment, said the evidence of the petitioner failed on its own.
He also said the petition also failed based on non-availability of cogent and credible evidence, adding that there was no evidence the petitioner could rely upon.
Orji expressed his gratitude to God over the affirmation by the tribunal.
Tribunal nullifies Adeyeye’s election
The tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday nullified the election of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, of the APC.
The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Danladi Adeck, in a unanimous decision declared the former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election of the Ekiti South Senatorial District.
Justice Adeck said, “In Ikere, Gbonyin and Emure local governments, the petitioner was able to prove cases of over voting and votes in those units were expunged from the ballots.
“The petitioner having polled the highest number of lawful votes should be declared the winner of the election. We hereby declare the petitioner the winner and he is hereby returned elected. We hereby direct the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return from the respondent and issue same to the petitioner”, the chairman said.
Adeyeye, however, said he would appeal the judgment.
He said, “The judgment of the tribunal today (Tuesday) is not short of open robbery and a direct assault on the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary.
“The whole world knows that the senatorial election of February 23rd was the freest and fairest in the history of our state.
“No doubt the judgment was purchased. And upon proper scrutiny, the filthy lucre that influenced it will be revealed.”
Tribunal upholds Yayi’s election
The tribunal in Lagos upheld the election of Solomon Adeola, alias Yayi, as the senator representing the Lagos Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
The Justice Kunaza Hamidu-led tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the declaration of Adeola of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the February 23, 2019 poll.
Rhodes-Vivour had rejected Yayi’s victory, contending that the election was fraught with malpractices, including vote-buying.
However, in its judgment on Tuesday, the tribunal dismissed Rhodes-Vivour’s petition for lacking in merit
Ajimobi loses bid to unseat PDP senator
The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, on Tuesday lost his bid to unseat a serving PDP Senator, Kola Balogun, at the tribunal sitting in Ibadan.
In its judgment, the tribunal dismissed the petition of the former governor challenging the victory of Balogun in the Oyo South Senatorial District election.
The judgment which lasted several hours, saw jubilant PDP supporters erupt in wild jubilation
In his reaction, Balogun said ‘my electoral victory was revolutionary’.