Makinde vs Adelabu: Tribunal delivers judgment tommorrow

Seyi Makinde

The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will tomorrow deliver judgment on the March 9, 2019 governorship election, in a case brought before it by Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), against Governor Seyi Makinde, of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP)

The APC and its candidate are challenging Makinde’s following the latter’s declaration as the winner of contest by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Not satisfied after studying results in units, wards and local councils, Adelabu headed to court to challenge Makinde’s victory.

And after many weeks of sitting, the tribunal on August 23 admitted the final written addresses filed by Makinde, Adelabu, PDP and INEC.

In adopting his final written address, counsel to INEC, Akinolu Kehinde (SAN) urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being grossly unmeritorious and lacking in substance.

Kehinde said that the petitioners erroneously put the burden of proof on INEC whereas the responsibility of proof lies on them.

He also said that the petitioners complained of irregularities in 1,334 polling units, and only called 38 polling unit agents out of which majority of them confirmed that the election conducted by INEC complied strictly with the Electoral Act.

Makinde’s counsel, Dr. Omyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), had said that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were faulty and evidence of the other witnesses not called amounted to hearsay, and urged the court to dismiss the petition.

But the counsel to Adelabu and APC, Yusuf Alli (SAN), had urged the court to hold that the petition was meritorious and that other witness that were not called have their statements properly laid before the tribunal.

Alli had said that under the law the number of witnesses called cannot override what had been properly laid before the tribunal.

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