Tribunal Upholds Adeola’s Election As Senator | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tribunal Upholds Adeola’s Election As Senator

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 5:02 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tunde Opeseitan, Lagos

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on Friday upheld the election of Olamilekan Adeola of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District at the upper legislative chamber.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Adeola as the winner of March 28, 2015 senatorial election for Lagos West.

Segun Adewale, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the said election, had challenged Adeola’s victory before the Tribunal alleging massive irregularities.

But The three-man panel led by Justice Sylvester Orji, in a judgment, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

Adewale had urged the Tribunal to invalidate the election of Adeola on the ground that he was not qualified to contest the election, adding that he (Adeola) did not obtain lawful votes to be declared winner during the election since it  was marred by irregularities.

Delivering judgment, the Tribunal  disagreed with Adewale’s contention, stating that there was no substantial evidence to proof that Senator Adeola was not qualified to run for April 28 election.

The Tribunal further held that Adewale did not provide substantial evidence to validate his claim on the issue of irregularities at the polling units.

It noted that since the petitioner had alleged that there were irregularities at several polling units, his party agent should have given evidence to confirm such.

In the absence of the evidence of any party agent, the Tribunal insisted that Adewale’s allegation of irregularities at several polling units were mere speculation.

“The evidence of the petitioner was not backed by witnesses. This fact which would have helped the Tribunal was not available.

“The evidence of the  only prosecution witness was devoid of any meaning and there were no facts to support paragraph one of the petition. The petitioner did not explain why there was discrepancy in the results.

“We observe that the petitioner kept hammering on the respondents to call their witnesses forgetting that the burden of proof is on them to prove their case.”

The Tribunal therefore ordered Adewale to pay N20,000 costs in favour of each of the respondents.

“In the circumstances, reliefs in the form of N20,000 costs should be paid by the petitioner in favour of the respondents,” the Tribunal held.?