Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Ladi Adebutu against the judgment of the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Governor Abiodun, during the March 18 governorship election.
At the hearing of the appeal by the Appeal Court, sitting in Lagos, Abiodun, APC and INEC told the three-man panel of justices, led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh that the appeal by Adebutu and PDP lacked merit and was ambitious.
The tribunal on September 30 dismissed the petitions by Adebutu and his party and affirmed the re-election of Governor Abiodun.
Leading the charge, Counsel to First Respondent (INEC), A.J. Owonikoko, SAN, urged the Court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Reacting to the issue of 49,000 disenfranchised voters, raised by the appellants’ Counsel, Chris Uche, SAN; Mr Owonikoko referred to paragraphs 4.37 to 4.40 on pages 18 and 19 of his brief to point out that the appellants only called 48 witnesses.
He explained that in cases of disenfranchisement, all the disenfranchised voters must be called as witnesses, but the appellants did not do so.
He concluded that the Court cannot amplify 48 witnesses to 49,000 witnesses as the appellants want.
He urged the Court to dismiss the appeal.
Counsel to the 2nd respondent Prince Abiodun, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, also identified and adopted his brief.
As a preliminary point, Olanipekun stated that contrary to the position set out by Uche, SAN, the recent decision of the Supreme Court in the Atiku v. INEC case completely encapsulated the issues in the appeal.
Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, appearing for the third respondent (APC), emphasised that exhibit PT609 is not a proper document to use (referring to pages 71-72 of his brief). The Court of Appeal reserved judgment to a date to be communicated in the future.