Tribunal Rejects APM’s Petition Challenging Governor Makinde’s Election Win

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Tribunal Rejects APM's Petition Challenging Governor Makinde's Election Win
Tribunal Dismisses APM’s Frivolous Petition Against Governor Makinde’s Electoral Triumph

In a recent ruling, the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Ibadan dismissed the petition filed by the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) against the victory of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The tribunal, chaired by Justice Ejiron Emudainohwo, unanimously dismissed the petition and awarded a cost of N1 million each in favor of Makinde and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against APM.

The APM had contested the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Makinde, representing the PDP, emerged as the winner of the March 18 governorship election with 563,756 votes. The respondents in the case were INEC and the PDP.

Justice Emudainohwo referred to the petition as frivolous and described the application for the withdrawal of the petition, which was filed 46 days after the party became aware of their candidate’s lack of interest, as scandalous. The tribunal emphasized that the cost was being awarded to deter the petitioner from wasting the time and resources of the respondents and the tribunal itself.

APM’s counsel, Mr. Henry Bello, informed the tribunal that he had filed an application to withdraw the petition against Makinde. Bello explained that the party’s candidate, Mr. Adeniran Oluwaseyi, who was supposed to benefit from the petition, had lost confidence in it and had already congratulated Makinde. Bello requested the court to strike out the petition, noting that the party had filed it because their votes were not recorded in several polling units during the election.

While the INEC counsel, Mr. Kizito Duru, did not oppose the withdrawal application and did not request any costs, PDP’s counsel, Mr. Isiaka Olagunju, supported the petition’s withdrawal and urged the tribunal to award a cost of N2 million against the petitioner. Olagunju argued that his client was entitled to the cost as issues had been joined, pleadings completed, and pre-hearing completed, and they were ready to commence the hearing when the withdrawal application was received.

Responding to the withdrawal application, Makinde’s counsel, Mr. Kunle Kalejaye, stated that he received the application on the same day the matter was scheduled for the hearing but did not oppose it. Kalejaye pointed out that the petitioner, who only received 303 votes in the election compared to Makinde’s 563,756 votes, should not have filed the petition in the first place. He urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition and award a punitive cost of N10 million against the petitioner to serve as a deterrent to others.

The dismissal of APM’s petition against Governor Makinde’s victory in the Oyo State governorship election marks an important development in the state’s political landscape. With the tribunal’s ruling, the focus now shifts to the governor’s administration as he continues to lead Oyo State forward.

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