The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu has rejected the ruling delivered by the Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld Governor Dapo Abiodun’s as the duly elected governor of the state.
The tribunal, composed of three-members, declared Adebutu’s petition “incompetent, defective, disjunctive, and lacking in merits” last Saturday.
Adebutu described the verdict as disheartening and a potential threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
In an official statement released by Afolabi Orekoya, the Director of Media at the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, the PDP candidate criticised the tribunal’s judgement.
He contended that the tribunal in its ruling relied on technicalities and did not adequately consider the substantial evidence and merits presented during the trial.
“We firmly believe in the principles of democracy, transparency, and the rule of law.
“It is with these principles in mind that we entered into the legal process to seek justice for the people of Ogun State whose mandate was stolen.
“Regrettably, the tribunal chose to focus on mere technicalities and the use of English rather than engage in a thorough examination of the glaring evidence presented.
“We submitted substantial evidence that raised serious questions about the conduct of the election, even marked ballot papers, and we are confident that a closer examination of this evidence would have revealed the true nature of the irregularities and discrepancies that occurred during the election.
“In the course of the trial, our legal team presented enough evidence that establishing non-compliance, voters’ harassment, and intimidation led to the disenfranchisement of over 49,000 voters, which is higher than the margin of lead of 13,915 as “purportedly” declared by INEC; the ballot box snatching; over-voting, among many other electoral malpractices perpetuated by Mr. Dapo Abiodun and his party, the APC.
“We obtained duly Certified True Copies of documents from the electoral umpire, INEC, and paid for them with official receipts to back our claims which proved all the content of our petition and justified our concerns over the election.” (vitalnewsngr.com)