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Thursday, October 31, 2019

BREAKING: Appeal Court Decides Ajimobi, Balogun’s Fate Tomorrow



Tomorrow, the court of appeal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, will lay to rest dispute that arose from the February 23, 2019 National Assembly election in Oyo South.
 Dr. Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had defeated then governor Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
This newspaper understands that the tribunal had also affirmed Balogun’s election. Not satisfied with the tribunal judgement, the APC appealed the judgement.
On October 17th, 2019, the court reserved judgement.The Justice Haruna Samani led a three-man panel, which has Justices Okoronkwo and Ojo as members had told counsel for both the appellants and respondents that judgment would be communicated to them at a later date.
The panel of justices reserved judgment after adoption of the written addresses of the appellants; the APC and Ajimobi whose legal team was led by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), and respondents: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Balogun and PDP.
Olujimi in his submission had challenged the qualification of Balogun to participate in Feb. 23 election on the ground that he did not participate in the PDP primary election but was selected.
He further argued that the National Assembly Election Tribunal did not properly evaluate the evidence brought before it before delivering judgment in the petition.
However, counsel to the INEC, Balogun, and PDP respectively refuted the claim by the appellants stressing that the tribunal through due diligence examined all evidence tendered before it.
The respondent’s lawyers were led by Messrs Ademola Osuolale, Olalekan Ojo (SAN) and Oluwasesan Dada.
They added that the issue raised on the primary election of PDP lacked merit as being proposed by the appellant as the basis for nullifying the candidature of Balogun, the second respondent.
The result of the Feb. 23 election as declared by INEC indicated that Balogun won his closest rival, Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressive Congress with a vote difference of 13,502.
The PDP candidate ended the contest with a total of 105,720 votes while the candidate of the APC had 92,217 votes.

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