Court of Appeal reaffirms, returns Kashamu as Senator
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has reaffirmed and returned the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu.
The court in itss judgment upturned the October 9, 2015 judgment of the National and State Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta.
In the unanimous judgment, the Appeal Court held that Senator Kashamu’s appeal is meritorious and therefore succeeds, thereby setting aside the ruling of the elections tribunal and returned Senator Kashamu as the winner of the march 28, 2015 senatorial election in Ogun East Senatorial district
Justice M.L Shuaib while reading the lead judgment, said the tribunal erred and was partisan by descending into the arena and scouted for evidence to nullify Kashamu’s election and truncate his victory and that it was curious, illogical and perverse of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a prosecution witness labeled as PW 44 and further admit as evidence documents that were clearly inadmissible under the law and also act on such evidence to truncate Kashamu’s victory.
According to the Appeal panel comprising of Justices A.G Msheila, M.L Shuaib and Ignatius Agube , PW 44 who posed as a forensic expert had discredited himself during cross examination when he stated that anyone with prerequisite knowledge could do what he did and added that he had no degree in statistics, saying, “PW 44 sold himself out and the tribunal should not have held that he was an expert when he himself had agreed anyone could do what he did.
“No expert opinion is needed in this case since PW44 stated that anyone, even a layman could do what he did and he has no degree in statistics.
“There is no certification of the admitted print out by the said forensic expert so it is not an exhibit and he also sold himself out when he stated that the Appendix A, B and C which was his report was printed from a computer but the tribunal held that it was PW44’s statement on oath and not a print out,” the court said.
Also, the three man Appeal panel held that the case of Prince Dapo Abiodun and the All Progressive Congress (APC) is a non issue as the material used to nullify the results of elections in some polling units and order re-election is inadmissible in law, adding that, “the case of the first and second respondents (Abiodun and APC) in this appeal collapses like a pack of cards as the respondents fail to lay necessary foundation for the admissibility of the annexes. Exhibits A, B and C are expunged as inadmissible
“PW44 was a hatchet man brought to truncate the appellant’s victory and since his testimony is that he thoroughly analyzed some documents from INEC’s register and used a computer to draw a table and print it out, the annexes are indeed a printout. It is wrong of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a discredited witness and use an inadmissible document to arrive at its judgment”
The Appeal panel adopted the same judgment for the cross petition filed by Prince Adedapo Abiodun.