SAN FRANCISCO, September 11, (THEWILL) – The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has lost his bid to become a senator at the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ibadan as the Tribunal dismissed his petition challenging the victory of Senator Kola Balogun in the Ibadan South senatorial district election held on February 23.
Having completed two tenures as governor of Oyo State, Ajimobi joined the tussle for the Ibadan South seat in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but was defeated by Senator Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a ruling that lasted about three hours, a three-man panel led by Justice Anthony Akpovi dismissed Ajimobi’s petition and held that he failed to prove all the allegations of corruption against the lawmaker.
Justice Akpovi noted that a margin of 13,502 votes between the votes cast for Senator Balogun and the former governor, adding that the discrepancy of 11,759 votes alleged by the APC was far lesser than the difference saying that even if the 11,759 was deducted from the total difference of 13,502 votes, Senator Balogun still led by 1,743 votes.
The judge also stated that the APC candidate rested his case on card reader malfunction but the Tribunal held that a card reader malfunction cannot invalidate the accreditation of voters and thereafter, dismissed the petition challenging the election of the lawmaker.
In a related development, the Tribunal, in another judgement delivered by Justice Sambo Daka, upheld the victory of Senator Fatai Buhari in the Ibadan North senatorial district election.
It dismissed the petition filed by a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande, challenging Buhari’s election.
Justice Daka held that Adeola and her party, PDP failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt to warrant cancellation of the election held in the senatorial district.