By Dayo Johnson
Akure — Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, yesterday, dismissed the appeal filed by Accord Party, AP, against the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal, which struck out its petition even as it restored part of the petition by Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governorship candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for trial.
It also struck out the appeal by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate Olusole Oke, for filling further evidence after the statutory period.
The appellate court, while affirming the decision that struck out substantial parts of the paragraphs of the petition, especially those that were considered “vague and nebulous,” however granted in part of the appeal of both ACN and PDP.
The court also restored the name of PDP in the petition by its candidate, Oke, and ordered that the tribunal should try the petition by Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, on its merit.
The Justice Andovar Kaka’an led Election Petition Tribunal had ruled on the AP and CPC petitions by striking them out, while it struck out some paragraphs in Akeredolu and PDP candidate governorship candidate, Oke
Dissatisfied with the decision of the tribunal, the petitioners appealed to the Akure Division of the Appeal court, which gave its ruling yesterday.
Justice Habu Gumel allowed Oke appeal in part, ruling that the tribunal was right in striking out some paragraphs in his petition, while some were wrongly struck out.
He, however, upheld the tribunal’s decision, which refused Oke’s application to file further evidence after the time allowed for such had lapsed.
Justice Mansur Oredola, while giving his ruling in respect of the appeal by Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN candidate, also restored part of the earlier paragraphs struck out by the lower tribunal, but affirmed the decision of the lower tribunal in respect of paragraphs dealing with allegations of criminal offences against persons who were not joined in the petition.
He concluded that “this appeal partly succeeds and the appellant petition restored in part.”
Justice Uche Onyemene upheld the tribunal ruling which struck out Olawale Ojo petition on the ground that Accord Party did not instruct any counsel to file any petition and that it was not a party to the petition.
She declared that, “this appeal lacks merit and accordingly dismissed it.”