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Election Tribunal upholds Ondo Rep’s victory

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The National and State Houses of Assembly elections petition tribunal in Ondo state has dismissed the petition of Abayomi Akinfemiwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to upturn of the election of Mayowa Akinfolarin of the All progressives Congress (APC) for Ile-Oluji Okeigbo/Odigbo federal constituency.

The three-man panel headed by justice Nuhu Adi said the petitioner could not prove his allegation of malpractices and non-compliance with the electoral act during the February 2019 National Assembly elections.

The two-hour judgement, which was read by Justice Victor Okorie, appraised the submissions of counsels to the petitioner and the respondents.

The tribunal held that the testimony of the petitioner and some of his principal witnesses did not correspond with their statement on oath and as such could not stand.

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The judges noted that the onus lies on the petitioner to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt, if INEC, the third respondent, refused to call any witness.

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The tribunal also held that the petitioner failed to establish the allegation of over voting in some polling units, non accreditation and other forms of non-compliance.

It therefore described the petition as lacking in merit, struck it out and upheld the election of Mayowa Akinfolarin as duly elected representative for ile-Oluji/Oke Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency.

With the resolution of this case, there are three more petitions to be dispensed out of the seven filed before the tribunal within its 180 days time frame.

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