By Abiodun Ogunrinde, Ibadan
Justice Suraju Muhammadu-led Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State capital, has reserved judgement in the petition filed by the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, against Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Justice Muhammadu, who was assisted by Justices Musa Bazza and Elizabeth Orji, said the judgement day would be communicated to all the parties in the case.
The tribunal adjourned the case for judgement on Friday after counsel to the parties adopted their final written addresses for and against the petition filed on March 29, 2019.
The petitioners in the case suit number EPT/OY/Gov/01/2019, are Adelabu and APC, while the respondents are INEC, Makinde and PDP as first, second and third respondents respectively.
The petitioner counsel, Mallam Yusuf Alli, SAN during the proceedings called 69 witnesses and tendered 4,166 documents before the panel and the documents were admitted as evidence.
Yusuf Alli, SAN who is the lead counsel for APC and Adebayo Adelabu asked the tribunal to nullify the declaration of Makinde as governor and declared Bayo Adelabu as the authentic winner of the March 9 Governorship poll.
Yusuf Ali appreciated the tribunal panelists led by Justice Muhammadu Suraju for their commitment towards delivery of proper justice.
Chief Bayo Adelabu, who was in the court during the adoption of final written addresses, told journalists after the court proceedings, that the petitioners “have shown to the whole world that there were lots of infractions during the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state and victory shall be ours and our party will come back to Adebayo Adelabu and my able deputy, Samuel Egunjobi.
“We have done all that is required of us to contest the gubernatorial election, and we are the most popular candidate, party and party with the track record because people voted for us.”
“From the evidence given so far and witnesses called; the court doesn’t rule on emotions but evidence, though, the judgment is for the Judges, we are sure that victory will come our way.”
Chief Adelabu also urged his loyalists to remain calm and maintain peace in their respective domain
According to him, people of Oyo state voted en mass for the APC in march 9 Governorship election, hence, the need for the party to challenge the outcome of the poll at the election petition tribunal.
Also in a chat with journalists shortly after the sitting, Comrade Femi Awogboro of APC said with what happened at the election petition tribunal, there is a strong indication that Chief Adebayo Adelabu would soon reclaim its mandate from the PDP.
Comrade Awogboro explained that he has confidence in Justice Muhammad Suraju led panel, especially with the way and manner it handled the proceedings since its inception.
He concluded that he was hopeful that when tribunal panel gave its final judgement, it will be a consolidated victory for Chief Adebayo Adelabu and APC.
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