Oyo election tribunal upholds Makinde’s re-election

Oyo election tribunal upholds Makinde’s re-election

The governorship election petition tribunal, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has reaffirmed the re-election of Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The electoral umpire declared Mr. Makinde as the winner of the governorship election held on Saturday March 18.

Makinde of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, polled a total of 563,617 votes to defeat his closest rival, Senator Teslim of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 251,230 votes.

Chief Adebayo Adelabu of the Accord came a distant third, polling 38,757. But Folarin of the APC and Adelabu of the Accord Party did not file any petition against the Oyo State governor before the tribunal.

The tribunal dismissed the case submitted by the AA governorship candidate, Babatunde Ajala, and awarded a cost of N600,000 against him in a unanimous judgement read by Justice Ejiron Emudainohwo and endorsed by Justices Baraka Wali and I.S. Galadima on Friday.

The tribunal awarded INEC N100,000 in costs and Governor Makinde and the PDP N250,000 individually in costs. INEC had requested a fee of N300,000, while Makinde’s counsel requested a fee of N5 million, and the PDP also requested a fee of N3 million. However, the petitioner’s attorney begged senior legal counsel and the panel for leniency.

INEC was the first respondent, while Governor Seyi Makinde was the second respondent in the petition. The PDP was the third respondent. A legal icon, Otunba Kunle Kalajaiye (SAN) held brief for Governor Makinde, while Mr. Isiaka Olagunju (SAN), was the counsel for PDP.

Speaking with journalists after the judgment, Kalejaiye said: “It was the final end of the petition brought by Action Alliance against the emergence of Governor Seyi Makinde in the March 18 election.

The petition was essentially to ask for rerun of the election on the basis that the candidate that was cleared for the election was not the candidate that was filled for the candidate of that election and the petition was filed, and we have responded to the petition, only for us to come this morning and find out that the party and the candidates claimed that they have looked at the petition again and they are not sure that they will succeed and they brought an application to withdraw the petition.

“We are convinced that it was when they saw our response to the petition that they made up their minds on the unavailability of the petition because we attached our petition on 18 grounds and that comminated into what happened today. The tribunal has dismissed the petition and has awarded cost against Action Alliance (AA).

“But there is one thing that is very clear which I made to the tribunal. Candidates, and political parties, who performed abysmally in an election should not be allowed to come to court to waste judicial time. Where a political party only scored 387 votes, and challenged a person, who scored 563, 617 votes in all the 33 local governments, is a waste of judicial time.

“The electoral act needs to be amended to create a threshold that if you have not scored at least a quarter, or 25 per cent of all the total vote cast in a state, you should not come to the election tribunal. Three judges have left their jurisdictions to come and sit for a petition that is dead on arrival. So, only serious petitioners will have access to court. This is a call for the amendment of Electoral Act.”

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