Law News
Tribunal rejects Amosun’s plea to stop Isiaka’s petition

The Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, Ogun State on Tuesday dismissed applications seeking to strike out the petition filed before it by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the April 11, 2015 election, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, challenging the victory of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Henry Olusiyi, while ruling on motion on notice filed by Amosun, the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission, held that granting the prayers contained in the applications would amount to standing justice on its head.

He ruled, “Let me state that it is clear that prayer one of each of the applications of the first and second respondents (Amosun and INEC), having been overtaken by events, are no longer relevant and are accordingly struck out.”

Citing paragraph 16 (1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), counsel for INEC, Olusina Sofola (SAN), had argued that Isiaka failed to reply to his early affidavit within the five days prescribed by law.

But the counsel for the PDP and Isiaka, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), contended that the reply that Sofola referred to was a further counter-affidavit and not an affidavit which could only be filed within seven days.

He argued that the petition was still within the time for issuance of pre-hearing notice, adding that the third to 128th respondents also did not comply with the provisions of the law in their reply.

Issues for ruling before the tribunal include whether the petitioners’ reply to each of the replies of the respondents was filed within time and whether in the circumstances, the petitioners could be deemed to have abandoned their petition.

However, the tribunal chairman, who determined the prayers in favour of Isiaka, held that the issues raised were technical, adding that the time of technicalities had gone in law.

Justice Olusiyi noted that the petition could not be deemed abandoned in the circumstances, stressing that instead of technicalities, the substance in the petition would be determined.

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