Adeyeye faults tribunal verdict, heads for Appeal Court

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, of the All Progressives Congress, is heading to the appellate court to seek redress over the judgment of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which invalidated his victory in the February 23 poll for Ekiti South Senatorial District.

Adeyeye’s counsel, Chief Rafiu Balogun, stated this while faulting the tribunal’s verdict which declared former Senate Minority Leader and Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election, Senator Biodun Olujimi, the actual winner.

Balogun, in his reaction to the judgment in Ado Ekiti, on Sunday, accused the tribunal of having made a case for Olujimi by conducting a recount of the votes.

Olujimi, dissatisfied with the return by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Adeyeye as the winner of the poll, had petitioned the tribunal to either declare her winner or order a supplementary election, citing irregularities and concluding that she polled the highest votes.

But Balogun and counsel for the APC, Kabiru Akingbolu, had countered Olujimi’s submission, saying INEC was right by declaring the APC candidate winner.

In its judgment on Tuesday, the three-man tribunal led by Justice Danladi Adeck, said Olujimi polled a total of 54,894 votes against Adeyeye who got 52,243 based on finding after a recount of the votes and declared her winner.

Balogun, who said there was no order of court for the recount to be conducted either by INEC or the tribunal, wondered where the tribunal derived its powers to carry out such sensitive task which the judgment relied on.

He said, “We are not satisfied with the tribunal ruling against our client because there are a lot of loopholes in the judgment. What the tribunal relied upon was the report of collation agent of the PDP who said INEC deliberately voided their votes.

“There was no order at all for the recount to be done at the INEC office. We had argued against it. It had been settled at the appeal in the case involving Dr Kayode Fayemi and Prof Kolapo Olusola that you can only do a recount at the open court; even in the case of Fayemi vs Chief Segun Oni.

“What they are saying is that INEC deliberately voided their votes. The tribunal is making a case for the petitioner,” Balogun said.

Counsel for the APC, Akingbolu, said, “The tribunal agreed with the defendants that all that the witnesses said were mere hearsay, unfortunately, the tribunal somersaulted 360 degrees (sic) to say the computation done by the witness without any reference to the units results was valid.”

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