Law News
APC candidate appeals tribunal’s verdict

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the April 11, 2015 Lagos State House of Assembly Election in Ojo Constituency 1, Muhibat Rufai-Adeyemi, has rejected the verdict of the election petition tribunal, which upheld the victory of Victor Akande of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Rufai-Adeyemi had gone before the Justice Efe Ikponmwonba-led tribunal to challenge the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission that Akande was the winner of the said election.

But in a judgment delivered on October 14, 2015, the tribunal adjudged Rufai-Adeyemi’s petition as incompetent and thus dismissed it.

However, displeased with the verdict, the APC candidate had, through her lawyer, Mr. Dele Adeogun, gone before the appellate court seeking an order upturning the tribunal’s verdict.

Joined as the 1st and 2nd respondents are Akande and INEC respectively.

Rufai-Adeyemi, who raised 10 grounds of appeal to the tribunal’s verdict, is seeking an order nullifying Akande’s election and a declaration that she was the valid winner of the said election.

The appellant’s lawyer, Adeogun, said the tribunal judges erred in law when “they held that the right of the petitioners to challenge the competency of 1st respondent’s reply filed on 17th June, 2015 has lapsed.”

He also argued that the judges erred in law when “they held that there was no fact as to when the 1st respondent was served.”

“Whenever an issue of service is in dispute, the proof of service in the court record can be looked at.

“It is trite that the court can look at its own record to establish a fact in dispute.

“The fact of the service of the petition on the 27th May, 2015 on the 1st respondent is not in dispute,” Adeogun maintained.

Rufai-Adeyemi is urging the Appeal Court to cancel the result of the April 11, 2015 election in wards A and K of Ojo Constituency 1 on the grounds that the election was not conducted in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act and for being inconclusive.

She prayed the appellate court to either sack Akande and declare her as the winner of the election or to order INEC to conduct a fresh election in Ojo Constituency 1.

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