Ogun Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has triumphed over his rival, Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade as the Ogun Election Petitions Tribunal confirmed him the winner of the March governorship poll.
The tribunal led by Justice Yusuf Halilu dismissed Akinlade’s petition for being “lazy, fictitious, malicious, and mischievous”.
Governor Abiodun was away with President Buhari in Burkina Faso on Saturday when the judgment that lasted about four hours was delivered. Amidst tight security, the tribunal began delivering judgment at at 10.15am and ended it at 2.38pm.
Akinlade also was not in court. Abiodun had polled 241,670 votes representing 35.49 per cent of the total votes to defeat the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222, 153 votes about 32.62 per cent, according to results posted by INEC on March 11.
Akinlade, a former House of Representatives member, challenged Abiodun over his educational qualification and age and also alleged electoral irregularities such as over-voting.
“We cannot waste valuable time of the Tribunal on irrelevant documents on over-voting,’’ the tribunal declared.
Akinlade had challenged results in 1070 polling booths across the state, but at the trial, he only brought 36 witnesses.
“It is unreasonable to do such and expect meaningful judgment,’’ Justice Halilu said
The tribunal first ruled on whether Abiodun was qualified to contest the election after he tendered WAEC certificate instead of first degree, that would have shown that he dodged the National Youth Service.
The tribunal dismissed it as a pre-election issue and that the petitioner ought to have his case within 14 days.
The tribunal cited Section 285 (9) of the Electoral Act and referred the petitioner to the Appeal Court’s ruling on Abiodun’s age issue.
At the court session in Isabo, Abeokuta were former Ogun deputy governor, Senator Adegbega Kaka, another ex-deputy governor, Mr Segun Adesegun, Speaker of Ogun House of Assembly, Mr Olakunke Oluomo and Chief of Staff to Gov. Abiodun, Alhaji Salisu Shuaib.