The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, has formally filed a petition before the Election Petition Tribunal, seeking a fresh election without Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adebutu added that Abiodun, a candidate of the APC was not duly qualified to contest in the March 18th gubernatorial election.
He said all the votes recorded for the APC and it’s candidate should be declared wasted and invalid votes.
INEC had declared Governor Dapo Abiodun of APC as the winner, having polled a total of 276,298 votes to defeat Adebutu who scored 262,383, while Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) came a distant third with 94, 754 votes at the March 18th governorship election in the state.
Not satisfied with the declaration, the PDP candidate, in company of his legal team, Gordy Uche, SAN, stormed the tribunal secretariat In Abeokuta, to lodge a formal complain with copies of it’s petition.
According to the petition, Adebutu and the PDP were regarded as the first and second petitioners, INEC, Abiodun, and the APC were respectively marked as the first, second, and third respondents.
“We are here today in continuation of the pursuit of our democratic rights because we have had elections that we truly believe we have represented the people fairly and the people have responded by voting fairly for us in an election we believe we won.
“We will continue to seek our mandate within the ambit of the law”, Adebutu told newsmen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gordy Uche SAN while giving details of the petition said, the petition was filed on up to four grounds, saying that it hope the tribunal will do the best within the ambit of the electoral act.
“We have about three senior advocates on our team and a host of many other lawyers and many of them are lawyers who are not just because they are being paid, but because they believe that the mandate was stolen and they also believe this mandate can be retrieved.
“We have up to four grounds, very solid ones, but it will be sweeter when our opponent tells you the grounds.
“Our prayers are just that the right thing is done and the man who won is given the mantle of the office”, he said
Contained in the petition includes, “(a). That it may be determined and declared that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest the Governorship Election in Ogun State held on the 18th March 2023.
“(b). AN ORDER of this Honourable Tribunal disqualifying the 2nd Respondent as a candidate in the election held in Ogun State on 18th March 2023.
“(c). That it may be determined that all the votes recorded for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in the Ogun State Governorship election held on 18th March 2023 are wasted and invalid votes.
“(d). That it may be determined and declared that the 2nd Respondent was not duly elected or returned by a majority of lawful votes cast at the Governorship Election held in Ogun State on 18th March 2023.
“(e). That it may be determined and declared that the 1st Petitioner won the highest number of valid votes cast at the election and satisfied the requirements of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ought to be returned and is returned as the winner of the Governorship election held in Ogun state on 18th March 2023.
“(f). AN ORDER of this Honourable Tribunal setting aside the Certificate of Return dated 20th day of March 2023 wrongly issued to the 2nd Respondent by the 1st Respondent.
“(g). AN ORDER directing the 1st Respondent to immediately Issue a Certificate of Return to the 1st petitioner as the duly elected Governor of Ogun State.
“IN THE ALTERNATIVE: (h). AN ORDER of this Honourable Tribunal directing 1st Respondent to conduct fresh election in the 99 polling units which cut across 41 wards and 16 Local Government Areas of Ogun State where elections were either not held and/or cancelled due to disruption and over-voting.
“(i). AN ORDER of this Honourable Tribunal directing the 1st Respondent to conduct a fresh election for the office of Governor of Ogun State to the exclusion of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents.
“(J). Any further appropriate consequential relief(s) that this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit and expedient to make in this Petition.”