The Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division, has affirmed the victory of Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the March 9 state governorship election.
In a unanimous decision, the appellate court on Monday dismissed the appeal filed by Adekunle Akinlade, the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in the election.
Akinlade and the APM, which is backed by Senator Ibikunle Amousn, the immediate past governor of the state and a lawmaker elected under the APC, had approached the appellate court to challenge the verdict of the Ogun Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld Governor Abiodun’s election.
But delivering the lead judgment, Justice Muhammed Ambi-Usi Danjuma dismissed the 10 grounds filed by petitioners, saying it lacked merit.
The judgement partly read: “The respective objections raised by the two respondents are overruled and the emotions have no remit, answers to them are sustained and the two motions are dismissed.”
Reacting to the judgement, Yemi Sanusi, the Ogun APC chapter Chairman, hailed the judgment, saying it was expected.
Sanusi also said the ruling party was ready to solidify its defence should the petitioners decide to appeal the judgment at the Supreme Court.
“The judgment says it all, in this part of the world, nobody accepts defeat. We will not be surprised if they move from here to the Supreme Court and we are ready; anytime they want to see us, they will meet us there.”
Also speaking, Habeeb Ajayi, counsel to the APC and Governor Abiodun, commended the court for delivering the judgment in good time.
He said “We must appreciate the court for delivering the judgment in good time. Elections have been held and a winner emerged and we must learn to accept defeat in all circumstances.
“There was no reason we should be in this appeal. But thank God the court of appeal has delivered its judgment in favour of the respondent and have equally confirmed that Prince Dapo Abiodun is the governor of Ogun State by lawful votes.
“That all the complaints about non-qualification as a result of delivering false affidavit are not applicable, in other words, those allegations are frivolous and the court has so passed.”