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Declare me, Ogun governor; heavens will not fall – Adebutu tells tribunal

Declare me, Ogun governor; heavens will not fall – Adebutu tells tribunal

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last Ogun State governorship election, Ladi Adebutu, has urged the election petition tribunal to sack Governor Dapo Abiodun and declare him as winner of the poll instead, saying the heavens will not fall if it does so.

Mr Adebutu said this to the court through his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), on Monday while adopting his final written address.

The tribunal, headed by Hamidu Kunaza, resumed hearing for the adoption of final written addresses in a petition filed by Mr Adebutu against Mr Abiodun’s reelection.

Mr Adebutu alleged non-compliance by INEC with the Electoral Act and corrupt practices by the governor and his party during the election.

He said the process was disrupted by thugs in over 99 polling units, disenfranchising over 40,000 voters.

In the final address, Mr Uche urged the tribunal to grant all the reliefs sought by the petitioner, including the disqualification of Mr Abiodun as a candidate in the March 18 election.

READ ALSO: Vote-buying Saga: Adebutu accuses Ogun APC of blackmail, intimidation

He further stated: “Upon a proper calculation of the lawful votes cast in the election, excluding the votes earned by multiple thumbprinting and ticking of ballot papers under the watch of INEC, the petitioner scored the majority of the lawful votes.”

According to him, about 40,891 votes were wrongfully credited to the governor.

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“The petitioners have successfully discharged the burden of proof by calling 94 witnesses who gave vital evidence.

“I urge my lords to do justice by granting the reliefs sought in this matter; the heavens will not fall.”

Adopting his final written address, INEC’s counsel, Remi Olatunbora (SAN), however, disagreed with Mr Uche.

He urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition “for being absolutely unmeritorious and a total waste of the judiciary’s precious time.”

He continued: “All the bags and envelopes of evidence hauled into this tribunal and tendered from the bar are absolutely inadmissible.”

On his part, the counsel to Mr Abiodun, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), also urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

He described the exhibits tendered by the petitioners as “worthless, valueless, baseless and should have been voided ab initio.

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“The position of the law is that an unsigned document is worthless. The principle of margin of lead cannot be a ground for a petition. I therefore urged your lordships to dismiss this petition”, Mr Olanipekun argued.

Counsel to APC, Onyechi Ikpeazu, noted that the petitioners raised allegations of non-compliance in six local government areas but failed to mention the polling units.

He also argued that the videos and pictures of alleged political thugs on bikes disrupting the election were unrelated to polling units.

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