Appeal Court affirms Govs Amosun, Ajimobi’s elections
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has confirmed the election of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and his Oyo State counterpart, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, saying, they were duly elected during the April 11 Governorship poll.
In its unnanimous judgment, the five-man panel dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the election, Mr Adegboyega Isiaka to challenge the election of Governor Amosun.
According to the Appeal panel ,the petition filed by the PDP governorship candidate lacked merit as the witnesses that testified for the PDP candidate were not credible while their evidences were inconsistent.
The Appeal panel added that the evidences presented to the court by the PDP candidate were not reliable to sustain his prayer.
In the same vein, the Court of Appeal Ibadan also dismissed the petition filed by Senator Rashidi Ladoja and the Accord Party to challenge the ruling of the lower tribunal which on October 27 upheld the victory of Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the April 11 governorship election.
However, Senator Ladoja has vowed to challenge the Appeal Court judgment at the Supreme court.
In the unanimous judgment, the Appeal court held that Senator Ladoja’s appeal lacked merit and that the evidence of his principal witness in the appeal, Bimbo Adepoju, PW1, is inadmissible.
The Justices H.M. Ogunjimiju, Haruna Simeon Tsammanani, Uchechukwu Oyemenam, J. Olubunmi Oyewole and M.L. Shuaibu panel said “the totality of evidence presented by PW1 is an opinion” and cannot be considered because it was not that of evidence”. The judges further hinted that “the principal witness is an interested party and such evidence cannot be relied upon”.
Citing section 68 (1) of evidence act, with reference to page pages 192,201,203 and 214 of the lower court judgment, the Appeal court added that PW1 evidence “does not contain statement of fact” because he is not competent to give such report”.
The panel also held that PW1 who was the main witness in the case because he is a card carrying member of Accord Party, an interested person, queried why he should render an opinion when he is not an expert, only an expert can make opinion in cases and will stand according to the constitution, saying, the inconsistency in the evidences which he could not explained under cross examination that lasted five days at the lower tribunal even showed that the PW1 discredited himself during cross examination as he confessed to “wrong” at a point in time.
They further submitted that the claim of violence and manipulation in areas mention cannot be established.
Also, in the second appeal which was also dismissed, the panel held that the “tribunal was right to state that the document of pw1 was inadmissible” and that his evidence was a mere opinion.
The lead Judge, H.M. Ogunjimiju further added that there was no proof that non-compliance to the guideline of election affected the outcome of election. She also posited that the appellant “put all their eggs in one basket and the basket is a leaking one.”
In his reaction, Counsel to Accord, Prince Aderemi Olatubora declared that the judgment was shocking as the case in Oyo State is similar to that of Rivers State where the election of Governor Nyesom Wike was nullified, hence the need to prove that at the Supreme Court.