Tribunal sacks Ogun APC Rep, validates Senator Odebiyi’s election 

Femi Adeleke
The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday nullified the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kolapo Korede Bello, representing Ijebu Central Federal Constituency.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Taiwo Shote had filled a petition challenging the victory of  Osunsanya of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Delivering the judgment, Justice Wakkil Alkali Gana-led panel cancelled elections in Ward 5, Unit 5 in Ijebu Ode LGA; Ward 10, Unit 3 in Odogbolu LGA and the entire Ward 8 in Ijebu North East LGA in the Constituency.
The tribunal held that since the margin of lead and difference between the petitioner and 1st respondent is  less than 4,000 and the  total number of cancelled votes is 8,800, the INEC ought not to have declared him the winner of the election – in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The tribunal further held that the electoral commission should have declared the election inconclusive and held rerun in the affected Ward and polling units.
The panel, therefore, declared that Osunsanya was not duly elected and ordered that a rerun should be conducted within 90 days in the affected wards and units.
In his reaction to the judgment, Shote described it as victory for the rule of law.
“I am very delighted at the judgment just delivered. I am happy that justice has been served. Although the wheel of justice grinds slowly, it grinds steadily and surely. It is victory for the rule of law and good people of Ijebu Central Federal Constituency. I thank God and the good people of Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North East and Odogbolu local government areas for their unflinching support thus far, and I promise not to disappoint them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the panel upheld election of Senator Tolu Odebiyi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as duly elected for Ogun West Senatorial seat.
The panel dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 23 election, Leye Odunjo.
The tribunal held that the petition failed to prove alleged non compliance in the National Assembly poll and therefore declared that Odebiyi “scored majority of the lawful votes cast in the election.”
The INEC had declared Odebiyi as the winner of Saturday’s poll for Ogun-West Senatorial seat.
According to INEC results,  Odebiyi won the election for the Ogun-West Senatorial seat having polled the highest votes of 58,452.
Odebiyi’s closest rival, Olusegun Gbeleyi of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), scored 48,611 votes, Odunjo of the PDP and petitioner came third with 43,454 votes.
In another judgment, Justice Gana – led panel dismissed petition filed against a member representing Ado Odo/Ota Federal Constituency, Jimoh Ojugbele.
The tribunal held that the petition filed by the PDP Candidate, Monsuru Sumonu against APC’s Jimoh was “grossly incompetence having been filed outside 21 days stipulated by the law.”
The petition was marked EPT/OG/NASS/Reps/ 04/2019.
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