Sunday, 30 October 2011

It’s D-day for Amosun, Jang, Wada astribunal rules

LAGOS — It is decision day for Governors
Ibikunle Amosun and Jonah Jang of
Ogun and Plateau states respectively
today as the Governorship Election
Petition Tribunals deliver judgment in the
petitions challenging their victories at the
April polls.
Judgment is also expected today in the
dispute between Captain Idris Wada and
Alhaji Jibrin Isa over the ownership of the
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP
gubernatorial ticket in the forthcoming
gubernatorial election in the State.
Supporters of Governor Jang were at the
weekend being mobilized for a victory
celebration at the party secretariat in
expectation of a positive judgment in the
case in which Jang is pitched against his
erstwhile deputy, Mrs. Paullen Tallen who
was the candidate of the Labour Party,
Jonah Jang, Captain Idris Wada and
Ibikunle Amosun
Jang who was the candidate of the PDP
in the gubernatorial election last April and
was declared winner by the Independent
National Electoral Commission, INEC was
dragged to the tribunal by Mrs. Tallen
who claimed that the election did not
comply substantially with the provisions
of the Electoral Act.
Attempts by counsel to Mrs. Tallen to
strengthen her case by tendering INEC
forms EC8E and EC8D to the Justice
Suleiman Ambrosa led tribunal were turned
down on the ground that the request fell
outside the stipulated 14 days allowed for
the submission of documents.
Governor Jang who had been on leave is
In Abeokuta supporters of Governor
Amosun who was elected on the platform
of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN
were equally expectant of victory at the
tribunal and are already mobilising for
A strong indication emerged yesterday
that the 3-man panel, has written the two
parties, of its readiness to deliver the
much-awaited judgment today, after both
the petitioner and respondent submitted
their written addresses.
The PDP had gone to the tribunal, to
challenge the victory of Amosun during
the last April general election.
It will be recalled that, the PDP had
approached the tribunal, asking it to
declare its party and its
candidate ,Olurin, the winner of the
election, having scored the highest number
of valid votes cast in the last governorship
election in the state.
It also prayed that, the votes cast for
PPN should be added to that of PDP on
the ground that the PPN members were
PDP members.
The prayers were vehemently objected to by
Amosun, the ACN and INEC that were
joined as respondents.
After carefully listening to all the parties,
the tribunal Chairman; Justice Bashir
Sukola, announced that, it had reserved
the judgment indefinitely.
ACN, spokesman in Ogun state, Sola
Lawal said yesterday that there was no
cause for alarm in the ACN camp as he
asserted that the election in the state was
free and fair.
The Secretary of the PDP in the state ,
Adepegba Otemolu , however, claimed
ignorance of today’s judgment.
At the last hearing, when all the parties
adopted their written addresses, the PDP,
through its counsel, Ajibola Oluyede,
asked the court to nullify the election of
Amosun on the ground that, the election
was not conducted in compliance with the
electoral act.
He said, “INEC did not comply with the
electoral Act by allowing PPN candidate
to participate in the election.
“We are asking your lordship to apply
Section 138 (1c) in this matter. The
election of second respondent (Amosun)
can be challenged , that he did not score a
majority of the lawful votes cast.
“It is therefore , not sufficient under our
laws for anyone who has won only a
plurality of the votes cast to be declared
and returned elected. I humbly urge your
lordship to grant the relief” the PDP said.
In his defense, Amosun’s counsel, Dr
Olumide Ayeni , who adopted his final
address, filed September 10, urged the
court to dispense justice according to the
law and not on what ought to be, citing
the case between Bakare and Nigeria
Railway Corporation in 2007.
“The petitioner did not state the Local
Governments to be nullified, the petition is
so unmeritorious, I urge the court to
dismiss it”, Dr Ayeni argued
Also today in Abuja, an Abuja High Court
is expected to give judgment on who
between Wada and Isah should be
recognized as the PDP candidate in the
forthcoming gubernatorial election.
Justice Sunday E. Aladetoyinbo reserved
judgment on the matter after listening to
arguments by lawyers to the two men who
are claiming the PDP ticket.
Isah had emerged as the candidate of the
PDP in a primary election held in
January before the gubernatorial election
in the state was suspended upon the
Supreme Court judgment that postponed
the gubernatorial elections in six states.
Following the postponement the PDP
organized fresh primaries which returned
Wada as the candidate of the party.
The PDP machinery in Abuja and Lokoja
are now fully supportive of the Wada
candidature and gave support for Wada
to launch his campaign last weekend.

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