Law News
A’Court upholds Kashamu’s election

THE Court of Appeal in Ibadan has dismissed the verdict of a lower election petition tribunal in Ogun State which had earlier nullified the election of Senator Buruji Kashamu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and declared him winner of the election.

Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had challenged the victory of the senator representing Ogun East senatorial district in the March 28 election saying the election was marred by large scale irregularities noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, erred by declaring Kashamu winner of the election. The tribunal ordered a re-run of the election in 91 out of 110 polling units in the senatorial district.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower tribunal, Senator Buruji headed to the Appellate Court for redress. Following allegations of compromise and a petition written against a three-man panel which had earlier been constituted, the panel was dissolved and a new one re-constituted.

The Chairman of the three- member appeal panel is Justice Mitshelia, A.G.

Dr. Alex Izion held brief for Senator Kashamu Buruji; while Mr. Ajibola Oluyede stood in for the PDP. Yussuf Alli,SAN, represented the first and second respondents, Prince Dapo Abiodun and  the APC.



While reading the lead judgment, Justice M.L Shuaib said the tribunal erred adding that it was curious, illogical and perverse of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a prosecution witness PW 44 and admit as evidence documents that were clearly inadmissible under the law and also act on such evidence to truncate Kashamu’s victory.

According to the panel, “PW 44 sold himself out and the tribunal should not have held that he was an expert when he himself had agreed that anyone could do what he did. No expert opinion is needed in this case since PW44 stated that anyone, even a layman, could do what he did and he has no degree in statistics.”

“There is no certification of the admitted printout by the said forensic expert. So, it is not an exhibit and he also sold himself out when he stated that the Appendix A, B and C which constituted his report was printed from a computer, but the tribunal held that it was PW44’s statement on oath and not a print out.

“The case of the first and second respondents (Abiodun and APC) in this appeal collapses like a pack of cards as the respondents failed to lay necessary foundation for the admissibility of the annexes. Exhibits A, B and C are expunged as inadmissible. PW44 was a hatchet man brought to truncate the appellant’s victory and since his testimony is that he thoroughly analyzed some documents from INEC’s register and used a computer to draw a table and print it out, the annexes are indeed a printout. It is wrong of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a discredited witness and use an inadmissible document to arrive at its judgment.”

The three-man panel comprising Justices A. G. Msheila, M. L Shuaib and Ignatius Agube, also adopted the same judgment.

Speaking on the judgment, Prince Kashamu described it as a victory for democracy and the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District.

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