The National Assembly and State Houses Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday affirmed the election of Senator Solomon Adeola (Yayi) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Lagos West Senatorial district.
The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Kunaza Hamidu, held that the petition filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the election of Adeola, failed to establish any prima facie case against him.
Rhodes-Vivour had dragged Adeola and INEC before the Tribunal, challenging the result of the Lagos West Senatorial District election over alleged irregularities.
The PDP candidate in his petition claimed that Adeola was not entitled to be returned as duly elected candidate, alleging that the election was marred by irregularities, malpractices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
He also claimed that INEC wrongly declared Adeola winner of the polls with 328,817 votes, while he scored 243,516 votes, noting that INEC ought to have declared him winner of the election instead of Adeola.
He further claimed that he scored the highest lawful votes cast at the election.
Rhodes-Vivour, through his counsel, Francis Akintola further alleged that the conduct of the election by INEC was fraught with vote-buying.
Other irregularities the petitioner alleged were violence, over-voting, inducement of voters with monetary and material gains, coercion of opponents, campaigning and lobbying of voters on the day of election.
He also alleged that in his petition that there was no accreditation and proper accreditation of voters by INEC officials, intimidation and arrest of his supporters.
Rhodes-Vivour also alleged that apart from the listed irregularities, there were irreconcilable entries in the result declared and the number of votes recorded in favour of Adeola by INEC.
But in their defence, Adeola, APC and INEC through their counsel, E. Akudo and Nojim Tairu, denied all allegations contained in the petition describing them as unfounded fabrications.
They insisted that Adeola scored the highest lawful votes cast at the election and urged the tribunal to dismiss Rhodes-Vivour’s petition with substantial costs.
During trial, Akudo filed three applications on behalf of Adeola and APC, while Tairu filed one application for INEC.
The respondents objected to certain paragraphs in the petition and urged the tribunal to strike them out as they were vague and lacked substance.
The tribunal granted the prayer of the respondents and struck out the ‘offensive’, saying that the petitioner failed to show the exact scores as he claimed, thereby rubbishing his petition before the tribunal.
The tribunal declared that the national assembly elections from which Adeola emerged winner was held in accordance with the Electoral Act and other relevant laws.