Kasamu: Court of Appeal reserves judgement on Ogun East Senatorial seat
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has reserved its judgement in the appeal filed before it by Senator Buruji Kashamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), against the judgment of the Ogun State election petition tribunal which nullified his victory in the March 28 Senatorial election.
After hearing the appeal, the Justice A. G. Mshelia led three-man panel said it will communicate the date for judgement to all the parties in the matter.
During the hearing, Senator Buruji Kashamu prayed the Court of Appeal to nullify the judgement of the Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified his victory in the March 28 senatorial election.
The lead counsel to Senator Kasamu , Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), declared that the lower tribunal erred in basing its judgement on the evidence of Prosecution Witness 44, who is not an expert.
Dr Izinyon maintained that since the witness himself confirmed that he was enlisted by the first respondent, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the second respondent, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to analyse the polling materials, his evidence should and cannot be relied upon.
The lead counsel added that since the star witness do not have an established skill and expertise as a forensic expert, the court should allow Senator Kasamu appeal and set aside the decision of the tribunal by dismissing the first and second respondents petition at the tribunal.
Lead counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. R. A. Oluyede, asked the court to allow the appeal of his client, adding that statues and cases are unanimous that elections are not meant to be perfect.
Barrister Oluyede noted that of the 11 complaints presented before the tribunal by the first and second respondents, only four were accepted by the tribunal on the basis of faulty evidence and that the judgements and findings of the tribunal cannot stand when it is clear that they are based on manufactured evidence.
In his submission, the lead counsel to Prince Dapo Abiodun and the APC, Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the appeal of both Senator Kashamu and the PDP, saying the over flogging issue of the evidence of P44, is uncalled for.
Alli added that there have been various judgements on the need rely on the evidence of forensic expert in electoral disputes, saying, “it is important that each case must be decided on its merit with its peculiar facts”.
The appeal panel after listening to the counsel announced that it will communicate the date for judgement to all the parties in the matter.
Other members of the panel are Justice Ignatius Agube and Justice M. L. Shuaibu.