In a significant ruling that followed hours of deliberation, the Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has affirmed the victory of Governor Dapo Abiodun, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the March 18 gubernatorial election.
This verdict comes after the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu, mounted a legal challenge against Abiodun’s re-election, citing allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance with Electoral Act provisions.
The petition lodged by the PDP also argued that Governor Abiodun did not secure a majority vote to be declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a lengthy and meticulous judgment delivered on Saturday, the tribunal declared that the petitioner failed to substantiate their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently, the tribunal struck out and dismissed the PDP’s petition.
The tribunal further held that Governor Abiodun met the necessary qualifications to represent his party as its candidate and subsequently be declared the victor by INEC.
To ensure the security and orderliness of the proceedings, security personnel were strategically deployed both inside and around the courtroom.
The courtroom was filled to capacity, with legal representatives from both the petitioner and the respondents in attendance.
High-ranking officials from the contending political parties, including Ogun State’s Deputy Governor Noimot Salako-Oyedele, the PDP’s deputy governorship candidate Adekunle Akinlade, and members of the National Assembly, were also present.
The three-member tribunal panel commenced reading the judgment around 9:10 am. Following their comprehensive examination of the case, the tribunal ruled in favor of Governor Abiodun and the APC, ultimately dismissing allegations of corrupt practices, non-compliance, and vote-buying.