- Kashamu heads to Appeal Court
- Judge invokes divine wrath over bribery allegation
National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, yesterday, set aside the election of the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Prince Buruji Kashamu.
The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to pay attention to lawful votes in units where reruns were ordered and add same to the result already validated by the court to determine the winner.
But in a swift reaction, Senator Kashamu said he would contest the outcome of the tribunal at appellate court, saying the judgement was given in error, according a statement signed by his media aide, Austin Oniyokor.
The candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Dapo Abiodun, had approached the tribunal asking the nullification of the election that returned Kashamu as winner.
Abiodun had argued that Kashamu did not win the election and that he was not qualified in the first instance to contest the election.
The Chairman of the three man panel, Justice Tobi Ebiowei, while delivering the judgement said the election that returned the Senator did not comply with Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
The Tribunal ordered rerun in 110 polling units across eight local governments of the senatorial district.
Justice Ebiowei while reading the judgement in synopsis maintained that out of the nine local governments in the Senatorial District, it was only in Ijebu Ode results was not cancelled.
A total of 37, 008 was declared unlawful with a total of 26, 529 and 47, 626 votes reduced from both All Progressives Congress, APC and PDP respectively.
Other local governments affected were Ijebu North, Ijebu East, Ijebu North East, Sagamu, Ogun Waterside, Odogbolu, Ikenne and Remo North.
He said while many allegations contained in the petition were proved, some others were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and added that following the recalculation of the results, Kashamu had 75, 856 while Abiodun had 70, 677 valid votes.
The Senator however insisted that after the removal of voided votes, he is still leading with 5,179 votes sacked him.
“According to the tribunal’s findings, Kashamu has 75,856 votes against Dapo Abiodun’s 70,677 votes. So how can the person leading be said to have been “sacked”? For who? The losing candidate? We think not.
“Besides, the rerun was ordered in 110 out of over 1,135 polling units in the senatorial district,”
“Certainly, we are going to test veracity of the tribunal’s verdict at the Court of Appeal. The tribunal has given its judgment, but it is not the end of the road. That is the beauty of the judicial process,” the statement concludes.
The Tribunal also nullified the election of member of Fedreal House of Representatives from Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogunwaterside, Adesegun Adekoya.
Justice Ebiowei said the tribunal found virtue and substantial credibility and reliability in the evidences provided by the petitioner and as such relied upon.
The tribunal has subsequently ordered for rerun in 222 polling units of the Federal constituency within 90 days.
After recalculation of the results by the Tribunal, the petitioners, Biyi Ismail of APC was leading by 137 votes pending the outcome of the rerun election in the affected polling units.
The tribunal has also set aside the result of five House of Assembly Elections earlier won by PDP and ordered rerun in the affected state constituencies.
In Ijebu East, the election of Bola Akeem of PDP was set aside while fresh elections were to be held in seven affected polling units while Mr. Adebowale Vinwanu Ojo of PDP of Ipokia state constituency also had his election set aside and rerun ordered in 38 polling units.
Olayinka Solaja Bowale of PDP from Ijebu North I also has his election set aside for a rerun in 67 polling units while Tola Banjo of APC also succeeded in his petition against the election of Ijebu Ode state constituency with rerun ordered in 14 polling units.
Oduntan Razaq of PDP from Egbado North II also had to wait for the rerun election in 10 units, as his election was also set aside while 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, Abayomi Fasua of Ijebu North East 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.
Meanwhile, the tribunal chairman vowed for the integrity of his members stressing that none had been compromised and called on divine wrath on any that may have been compromised.
He said, “If I have collected any money to influence anybody apart from my understanding of law, may the wrath of God come upon me and also my brothers and everybody.
“Whatever money anybody has taken on our behalf, may God judge such a person.”