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While parties submit their final speeches, the APC and INEC have asked the Ogun election tribunal to reject the PDP’s challenge.

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On Monday, Governor Dapo Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by the Peoples

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Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ladi Adebutu and his party, challenging Abiodun’s election as governor in the March 18, 2023 election.

The tribunal delayed rendering a decision on the petition until after all parties had completed their closing briefs.

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Justice Hamidu Kunaza, presiding over the three-person tribunal, informed the attorneys that they would be informed of the judgment’s final day.

Adebutu has petitioned the tribunal to overturn the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) proclamation of Prince Abiodun as the winner of the governorship race, arguing that the election had been tainted by corrupt activities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

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The petitioners failed to show their case beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the arguments of counsel for the first respondent (INEC) Mr Remi Olatubora (SAN), second respondent (Dapo Abiodun) Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and third respondent (APC) Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN).

Olatubora, counsel for INEC, urged the tribunal to toss out the petition because it was baseless and a waste of time.

He stated that the petitioners’ charges of fraud, ballot stuffing, and forgery, as well as corrupt practices and non-compliance, could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

He characterized the petitioners’ witnesses’ statements as heresy, which is inadmissible in court.

Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN), counsel to Prince Dapo Abiodun, said that Adebutu’s appeal was an intellectual exercise in his closing remarks.

He pointed out that the heart of the petition was missing the required signatures and stamps, meaning it was invalid and should be thrown away.

The document lacks a signature, a date, a heading, a title, a signature, an identification, a stamp, and a date. He answered, “The CTC is not signed.

Counsel for Adebutu, Chris Uche, SAN, argued in rebuttal that the petitioners’ evidence was received legally from INEC.

He asked the tribunal to either confirm Adebutu as governor or to order a new vote in 99 polling places where he claimed irregularities occurred.

The APC’s attorney, Tayo Oyetubo, told reporters after the adjournment that the respondents have made a strong case, but that he was still optimistic about the outcome.

He stated, “The action has been adjourned for judgment, and all parties have had an opportunity to address the court on the matter before it. The respondents are confident that they have done a good job and will win the case, despite the fact that the case presented to the tribunal has been attacked on various grounds, including competence, substance, and the quality of the witnesses that were brought.

It should be recalled that Adebutu and the PDP’s plea was dismissed as a “wild goose chase” by the APC and Prince Abiodun.

According to the earlier report, Abiodun and APC’s final written response stated that the petitioners did a poor job and failed to substantiate their case.

They said that this was the case because Adebutu and PDP had provided coached and untrustworthy witnesses, relied on documents that directly refuted the testimony of their witnesses, and offered experts whose testimony and records were not credible.

They contended that Adebutu and PDP, who have been accused of vote buying with solid proof, had dirty hands and hence are not entitled to equity.

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