The Oyo State Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the immediate past governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the declaration of Senator Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the February 23 senatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Tribunal led by Justice Anthony Akpovi on Tuesday upheld Balogun as the authentic winner of Oyo south senatorial district election. Akpovi who read the judgement held that Ajimobi and the APC did not prove that the election was fraught with manipulation,irregularities,violence and corrupt practices.
The Tribunal ruled, “The petitioner based his complaint on card reader reports and poor accreditation. But it is on note that INEC guidelines already made provisions for steps to take in such situations of malfunction of card readers and this was followed. Consequently, the malfunction of card readers cannot be said to invalidate the vote results.
“The declared results span 363 polling units but the petitioner didn’t call credible witnesses to prove his allegations; a total of 46 witnesses were called, out of which the testimonies of 23 was expunged as hearsay, the witnesses were not credible because they weren’t present at the polling units.”
The tribunal further held that, “The total number of votes declared by INEC for the winner was 105, 720 while the petitioner got 92, 218 votes. The difference is 13,502 votes. Assuming the petitioner proved the allegation of non-compliance, the disputed figure that would be affected is 11,759, but there will still be 1,743 vote margin. The question that arises from that is, with 1,743 vote difference, can he be said to have won? Even if the allegation was proved, the petitioner could not be said to have won being behind with 1,743 votes.
“The petitioner did not prove that the allegation of irregularity affected the result of the election. All reliefs in the petition failed, the petition is dismissed and the election of Kola Balogun is upheld.”