Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has adjourned for judgment in the petition against the victory of senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Oluremi Tinubu.
The tribunal adjourned for judgment after all parties to the petition adopted their written addresses and prayed the panel to grant their various prayers.
After adjourning, the panel informed the parties that the date to deliver judgment would be communicated to them later.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Sen. Tinubu winner of the February 23 election in Lagos Central senatorial district.
INEC Returning Officer Prof. Oyeyemi Oyedola of the University of Lagos, while declaring Mrs Tinubu winner of the poll, said the APC candidate received a total vote of 131,735 to defeat her opponent, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, who scored 89,107 votes.
However, dissatisfied with the INEC’s declaration, Chief Onitiri dragged the Commission and APC candidate Tinubu before the tribunal, challenging the result of the election over alleged irregularities.
In his petition, the PDP candidate through his lawyer, Onome Akpeneye alleged that the results declared by the INEC was marred with vote-buying, violence, over-voting, inducement of voters with monetary and material gains, campaigning and lobbying voters, on the day of election.
Other irregularities he stated at the trial of the petition included non-accreditation and improper accreditation of voters by INEC officials, intimidation and arrest of his supporters and poll agents, as well as instigation of electoral violence by the agents of APC.
In her defence, however, Sen. Tinubu refuted all allegations contained in the petition as lies and unfounded fabrications, claiming that she scored the highest lawful votes cast at the election, whilst urging the tribunal to dismiss Onitiri’s petition with substantial costs.