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Appeal Court dismisses PDP candidates’ suit against Adetumbi, others

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The Appeal Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti yesterday dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Duro Faseyi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election that produced Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Ekiti North Senatorial District in the Senate.

Faseyi had filed the appeal claiming that the APC candidate did not score the highest number of lawful votes in the election.

In a related vein, the Appeal Court struck out the suit filed by Kehinde Agboola of the PDP against the APC candidate, Peter Owolabi, in Ekiti North Federal Constituency I, thereby affirming the APC’s candidate’s victory in the February 23, 2019 National Assembly polls.

Also, the Appeal Court dismissed a case filed by Mr. Nicholas Olusola Omotoso of the PDP against the winner and APC candidate, Ibrahim Olanrewaju, in Ekiti North Federal Constituency II.

The crux of the three appeal cases were that the APC senator and the two federal lawmakers did not score the highest number of lawful votes and that the ruling party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore did not present candidates for the polls.

Delivering his judgment in the case filed against Adetumbi, Justice Hamma Akawu Barka said Faseyi acted like a busy-body by trying to contest the outcome of the APC’s primaries, saying only those who participated in that primary can contest the outcome.

Also, in the ruling on appeal filed by Omotoso against Olanrewaju, who is representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency II, Justice Uzo Ndukwe Anyanwu said Exhibit 3 (1), being the report of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the APC primary relied on to prosecute the suit, was supposed to be tendered by INEC official and not through the Bar.

“We expected the appellant to call the maker of the document so that he can be cross-examined but rather, he dumped it on the court and this makes it lack probative value and the case lacks merit based on this ground having not called the maker. The document was rendered useless by this action,” the judge said.

Justice Alfrieda Oluwayemisi Williams-Daudu adopted the foregoing position in the appeal filed by Agboola of the PDP against Owolabi of the APC in Ekiti North Federal Constituency I.

Meanwhile, lawyer to the respondents, Chief Rafiu Balogun, said he was not surprised that the appeals were dismissed, saying they lacked the requisite merits in the first instance.

“We are not surprised at the verdicts of the appeal justices. We salute their industry and commend them for being painstaking in dealing with the issues raised,” he added.


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