The Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has pronounced All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Governor Dapo Abiodun as the legitimately elected winner of the March 18 election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Ladi Adebutu, were challenging Abiodun’s re-election on grounds of suspected corrupt practices and non-compliance with Electoral Act requirements.
The petition also claimed that the governor did not receive enough votes to be declared the winner by INEC.
The panel delivered its decision on Saturday after an 11-hour hearing, finding that the petitioner had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and subsequently striking out and dismissing the petition.
The court also ruled that Abiodun was entitled to run as his party’s candidate and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) correctly declared him the victor of the poll.
Security personnel were stationed at strategic spots across the courtroom to prevent a breakdown in law and order.
Counsel for both the petitioner and the respondents were present in the courtroom, which was nearly full.
Representatives from the two competing political parties were also present, including the state’s Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, and the PDP’s deputy governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, as well as members of the National Assembly.
The three-man panel began reading the judgement about 9:10 a.m.
The court dismissed the charge of corrupt practices and noncompliance at the end of their submission because it was disjointed, faulty, and incompetent. It also dismissed claims of vote-buying against the APC and its candidate.