Ogun Governorship Election Tribunal Nears Verdict

As anticipation builds over the verdict of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Ogun State, both the camp of the incumbent Governor, Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his challenger, Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), express optimism regarding the outcome.

With the conclusion of the Presidential Election Petition Court’s (PEPC) proceedings, all eyes are now on the state-level tribunals, where sitting governors eagerly await their fate.

The tribunal, which concluded its three-month-long hearings last Monday, is tasked with ruling on Adebutu’s petition, in which he alleges widespread violence, irregularities, and rigging during the governorship election. Adebutu claims that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to comply with the Electoral Act and accuses the governor and the APC of corrupt practices during the election. He further alleges that over 99 polling units witnessed violent disruptions, leading to the disenfranchisement of over 40,000 voters.

In response, Governor Abiodun has vehemently contested all these allegations, urging the tribunal to dismiss the case on the grounds that the petitioners failed to provide substantial evidence.

Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the lead counsel for Abiodun, in his final address, characterized Adebutu’s petition as a mere academic exercise, pointing out that essential elements such as signatures, dates, headings, titles, and identity were missing from crucial documents.

“The document is not signed, not dated, no heading, no title, no identity, no signature, no stamp. The CTC has no signature,” Olanipekun argued.

On the contrary, Chris Uche (SAN), Counsel to Adebutu, emphasized that all documents presented by the petitioners were obtained from INEC. He urged the tribunal to either declare Adebutu the winner of the governorship election or order a rerun in the 99 polling units where disruptions were alleged to have occurred.

As both sides await the tribunal’s judgment, the outcome holds significant implications for the political landscape in Ogun State.

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