The People’s Democratic Party candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Ogun State, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu has frowned at the verdict of the tribunal, stating that it was “based solely on funny technicalities.”
Recall that Saturday’s judgement of the election petitions tribunal affirmed Dapo Abiodun as the duly elected governor of the state.
Adebutu described the judgement of the tribunal which dismissed his petition challenging the victory of Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress in the March 18 governorship election as unexpected, disheartening and a threat to Nigeria’s democracy, according to Vanguard.
He declared that in as much as the tribunal would leave the subject matter of the case and would rather dwell on technicalities, the basis upon which he said the tribunal threw away his petition, he had been left with no choice than to exhaust all the available legal options including heading to the Appeal Court to claim his stolen mandate.
Adebutu, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State through Director of Media, Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, Afolabi Orekoya, said the judgement which was “based solely on funny technicalities failed to consider the substantial merits and evidence tendered during the trial.
“We firmly believe in the principles of democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. It is with these principles in mind that we entered into the legal process to seek justice for the people of Ogun State whose mandate was stolen.
“Our commitment to this course remains unwavering, and we will exhaust all available legal avenues to ensure that the will of the people is upheld, justice prevails and the mandate is retrieved.
“Regrettably, the Tribunal chose to focus on mere technicalities and the use of English rather than engage in a thorough examination of the glaring evidence presented.
“We submitted substantial evidence that raised serious questions about the conduct of the election, even marked ballot papers and we are confident that a closer examination of this evidence would have revealed the true nature of the irregularities and discrepancies that occurred during the election.
“In the course of the trial, our legal team presented enough evidence that establishing non-compliance, voters’ harassment and intimidation leading to the disenfranchisement of over 49,000 voters which is higher than the margin of lead of 13,915 as “purportedly” declared by INEC; the ballot boxes snatching, over voting among many other electoral malpractices perpetuated by Mr Dapo Abiodun and his party, APC.
“We obtained duly Certified True Copies of documents from the electoral umpire, INEC, and paid for with official receipts to back our claims which proved all the content of our petition and justified our concerns over the election.
“We condemn unequivocally the judgement of the tribunal, consequently, we have mandated our legal team to appeal the judgement of the tribunal. We will not relent until due Justice is served.
“With what was displayed at the tribunal on Saturday 30th, September 2023, it is worrisome that the court may no longer be the hope of a common man who may seek redress through the court shortly if not curtailed.
“Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu assures the good people of Ogun State that we will not be deterred by this setback. We will continue to fight for the rights and aspirations of our supporters and the citizens of our dear State. Our determination to see justice served will not be shaken by this judgment, and we will take this matter to the appellate courts to seek a more equitable and just outcome.”
“We call on all well-meaning citizens and stakeholders in Ogun State to join us in our unrelenting quest for justice and in upholding the principles of democracy. The fight for a better Ogun State continues, and we remain committed to our vision of a brighter future for our beloved State.
“We will not retard in seeking desired justice for the people of Ogun State whose mandate was hijacked by the enemies of democracy and due process. As much as you are aware, this set of individuals did everything possible to ensure the PDP and Adebutu were not on the ballot before the election but we came out victorious.”