Senatorial poll: Tribunal nullifies Ajimobi’s petition, upholds Balogun’s victory

 The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Oyo State, on Tuesday, upheld the victory of Sen. Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Oyo South Senatorial District in the Feb. 23 National Assembly election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, had challenged the declaration of Balogun by INEC as the winner of the election.

NAN also reports that Balogun had polled 105,720 votes to defeat Ajimobi who garnered 92,218 votes.

The three-man panel of the tribunal chaired by Justice Anthony Akpovi, with Justice Sambo Daka and Justice Chinyere Ani as members, unanimously upheld Balogun’s victory.

The lead judgment, read by Akpovi, said that most of the witnesses called by the petitioner to tender the results of polling units were ward collation agents and not the proper persons to tender the results.

The tribunal chairman said that the testimonies of the ward collation agents could not be accorded any probative value because they were not the makers of the documents tendered.

He said that the petitioner also based his testimonies on the card reader result without calling the maker to testify, while no witness was also called in regarding voters’ accreditation register.

Akpovi said that the malfunctioning of the card reader could not invalidate the voter’s register.

He said that most of the witnesses called by the petitioner were not relevant and that their testimonies were mere hearsay.

Akpovi said that the petitioner failed to prove all the allegations in the petition beyond reasonable doubt.

The tribunal chairman, therefore, nullified Ajimobi’s petition and upheld the election of Balogun, having scored the majority of lawful votes, and declared him the winner.

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