The National and state Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital has cancelled the election of a Buruji Kasahamu, a Nigerian senator wanted by the US for drug-related offenses.
Justice Ebiowei Tobi led tribunal has ordered re-run in 110 polling units.
The tribunal cancelled units in 8 out nine local government areas to invalidate the election of the People’s Democratic Party senator. A re-run of the election will take place in 90 days.
Additional reporting by The News Nigeria below:
The Election Tribunal in Ogun State has nullified the election of alleged US wanted drug baron, Buruji Kashamu.
The tribunal made the decision today in Abeokuta and ordered a rerun.
Prince Dapo Abiodun, the All Progressives Congress, APC Ogun East Senatorial candidate in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly Election challenged Kashamu’s victory at the tribunal, claiming that Kashamu was not validly elected.
Instead, Abiodun wanted the tribunal to declare him the winner.
At the hearing on 3 August, all the counsels in the matter adopted their final addresses and made final submission to further convince the court on their cases.
Counsel to the petitioner, Yusuf Ali (SAN) argued that result sheets made available to agents at the polling units were different from the Certified True Copies,CTC, brought before the court by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In his alternative prayer, Ali also prayed the court to nullify Kashamu’s election on ground that Dapo Abiodun won the majority valid votes, adding that the Senator was not qualified to contest the election in the first place because of his alleged drug-related cases against him.
According to him,”Our position is that we won the election, but was denied victory and the tribunal should restore us into the victory path. That is the summary of our case.
“We have the alternative prayers, one was that if we do the proper calculation of the valid votes, Dapo Abiodun would have the majority of valid votes, and we said based on that, nullify the election of Buruji and declare Dapo Abiodun the winner.
“In case the tribunal does not agree, by looking at the documents we brought after the conclusion of votes in each polling stations, Dapo Abiodun’s agents were given copies of the result which we tendered but we need INEC to bring the Certified True Copies and we now discovered that the ones they brought were different with the material particulars of the ones they gave to us on the day of the election.
“We now said if the tribunal agrees that such differences point to irregularities, we have asked the tribunal to nullify the election and order fresh election, those are our alternative prayers.
Our allegation again was that Buruji Kashamu was not qualified to run for the election having regards to a lot of issue on his extradition and based on those issues, he shouldn’t have contested election.”
n his counter arguement, Counsel to Kashamu, Ajibola Oluyede (SAN) said the petition was brought based on documents produced by the petitioner himself saying such documents are not admissible before the court.
“You were in court and you saw that the petitioner’s case was based on documents he produced himself, and he rejected the documents that were produced by the umpire and it is those ones he produced himself that he wants the court to rely upon.
“So, the arguments focused on those documents, all we are waiting for is for the court to give its judgement. We are very confident that the court would uphold the decision of the electorate, the electorate has elected its Senator,”Ajibola said.
After listening to all the counsels, the Chairman of the three man panel, Justice Ebiowei Tobi said he reserved judgement to a later date which ‘will be communicated to counsels’. Friday is now the Judgment Day.
+From The NEWS