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Court of Appeal strikes out Ajimobi’s petition against Balogun’s victory
THE COURT of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has dismissed the petition filed by immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi challenging the decision of the Oyo State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal on Oyo South Senatorial election held on February 23.
The Election Petition Tribunal had upheld the victory of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Kola Balogun who polled a total of 105,720 votes to defeat Ajimobi who had 92, 218 votes.
Haruna Tsammani, a justice of the Appeal Court, dismissed Ajimobi’s petition for lacking in merit and affirmed the decision of the tribunal.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tsammani held that Ajimobi did not have the right to raise the issue of non-qualification of the respondent based on the conduct of PDP primary.
He further held that a person that does not participate in a party primary does not have the right to challenge the outcome of the primary.
“A person is qualified to contest once such a person satisfied the condition of the party and INEC confirmed such a person”, he said.
Tsammani said most of the witnesses presented by the petitioner were not qualified to tender exhibits and give evidence because they are not the maker of those documents tendered.
The tribunal on September 10 held that the petition filed by Ajimobi over the election of the Oyo South Senatorial Election lack merit and the petitioner was unable to convince the tribunal that the election was induced.
The Tribunal chaired by Anthony Akpovi therefore affirmed the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) decision who declared that Muhammad Kola Balogun was the winner of the election.