The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta on Friday nullified the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu.
The tribunal also set aside the elections of a member of the House of Representatives and five other House of Assembly members on the platform of the PDP.
The tribunal’s chairman, Justice Tobi Ebiowei, however, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections in 110 polling units in eight local governments in the Ogun East Senatorial District within the next 90 days.
The All Progressives Congress candidate, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, had dragged Kashamu before the tribunal and alleged that Kashamu’s election failed to comply with the 2010 Electoral Act.
He said irregularities and malpractices characterised the March 28 election won by Kashamu.
Justice Ebiowei, who led a three-man panel to deliver the verdict, also ordered INEC to take into cognisance during the conduct of the fresh polls the 146,533 valid votes cast during the March 28, 2015 National Assembly polls in the Ogun East Senatorial District.
Delivering judgement on the petition brought by Abiodun, Justice Ebiowei said, “We do not feel comfortable to nullify elections in Ogun East when 146,533 votes are valid because of 37,008 unlawful votes.”
But Kashamu’s media aide, Austin Oniyokor, said the tribunal did not sack his principal, but only ordered a rerun in 110 units in the senatorial district.
He said, “We are going to test the veracity of the tribunal’s verdict at the Court of Appeal. The tribunal has given its judgement, but it is not the end of the road. That is the beauty of the judicial process.”
The tribunal also annulled the election of Mr. Adekoya Adesegun, the member representing Ijebu North/Ogun Waterside/Ijebu East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in 222 polling units of the constituency within the next 90 days. Adesegun is also a PDP candidate.
Concerning the petitions arising from the state House of Assembly election on April 11, the tribunal ordered the conduct of fresh polls in Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu East, Ipokia, Ijebu North 1 and Egbado North 2 state constituencies.
The tribunal ordered rerun in 14 polling units in Wards 6 and 7 in Ijebu Ode constituency where a former Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Tola Banjo, challenged the election of Wale Alausa.
While giving its verdict on the Ijebu East House of Assembly election won by PDP’s Adejunwon Oyenuga, the tribunal ordered the conduct of fresh elections in seven units where allegations of irregularities were proved.
APC candidate, Bola Badejo, had petitioned the tribunal praying the nullification of Oyenuga’s election and his declaration as the winner.
The tribunal submitted that having analysed the petition, it observed irregularities in some areas and therefore nullified the results in the affected units.
It also ordered a rerun in those polling units.
Also delivering its verdict on the state Assembly election in Ipokia constituency, the tribunal annulled elections in 38 units, and ordered fresh election in them.
The petitioner, Sewanu Towakennu-Olatunde of the APC, had challenged INEC’s declaration of Adebowale Ojo of the PDP as the winner of the poll.
The tribunal noted that the irregularities observed in 38 polling units were enough to discredit the results of the entire election and therefore ordered a fresh election in the affected areas within 90 days.
In the petition filed over the election into the Ijebu North 1 constituency, the decision of the tribunal was split with the majority verdict annulling part of the election.
The tribunal ordered a rerun in 67 polling units where irregularities were proved to have occurred during the polls.
The petitioner, Adebayo Adebola of the APC, had dragged Oluyinka Bowale of the PDP before the tribunal.
The tribunal dismissed the petition brought by the APC candidate from Ijebu North East, Abayomi Fasua, against the victory of Olujimi Otukoya of the PDP and upheld Otukoya’s election.
The tribunal chairman said, “It is our view that for any petition to succeed for non-compliance, it must not be on the document but the lead.
“The law is settled on this case and we are of the view that there is no link between the document and the evidence of the witnesses.
“The petition is hereby dismissed and the return of the winner is upheld.”
Oduntan Razak of PDP from Egbado North II also had to wait for a rerun election in 10 units as his election was also set aside.
His election was challenged by Falola Ayinde of the APC.
Mrs. Akintayo Julianah of PDP from Yewa South survived two onslaughts from both APC and Unity Party of Nigeria as her election was upheld.
Also, Samuel Solarin of Sagamu II and Jemili Akingbade of Imeko state constituencies, all of PDP, have their elections upheld as petitions against them were thrown out for lack of merit.