By DAUD OLATUNJI, ABEOKUTA
The Election Petition Tribunal for state and National Assembly in Ogun State, Friday, nullified the victory of seven candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party including a Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, Prince Buruji Kashamu.
The tribunal which also removed a member of House of Representatives, representing Ijebu North/Ijebu East /Ogun waterside, Adekoya Adesegun and five members of the state House of Assembly ordered for erun in all the affected areas.
The lawmakers who were removed by the Tribunal were; Adejuwon Oyenuga representing Ijebu-East, Adebowale Ojo from Ipokia, Adebowale Solaja from Ijebu North 1 , Wale Alausa from Ijebu-Ode and Oduntan Razaq from Yewa North 11 , all, of them were candidates of the PDP.
Kashamu and others were dragged before the tribunal by candidates of the All Progressives Congress following their emergence at the polls.
Kashamu who was declared the winner in the last election as the Senator representing the district was dragged to the Tribunal by the candidate of APC, Abiodun Adedapo to challenge his victory.
While delivering the judgement between Kashamu and Abiodun , Chairman of the-three-man tribunal, Justice Tobei Ebiowe said the election that brought Kashamu as a Senator was fraught with irregularities.
He said electoral malpractices were noticed in eight local governments out of the nine local governments where the election was held and thus, affected the credibility of the election in the district.
He therefore cancelled the elections in the eight local governments affected except Ijebu-Ode which he said was free from electoral malpractices.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had awarded 99,540 votes to Kashamu while Abiodun got 84,001 votes after the last election.
But, the tribunal deducted 23,684 votes from Kashamu’s 99540 votes and declared that Kashamu had 75856 lawful votes while it deducted 13,324 unlawful votes from Abiodun’s 84,001 votes.
The tribunal held that though Kashamu was leading with 5,179 after the cancellation of 37008 votes, because the total votes cancelled are more than the margin, thus, the need for rerun.
The Chairman however, ordered that election should be conducted by INEC in 110 polling units in the eight local governments within the district within 90 days and all the lawful votes should be added with the fresh result from the affected areas before the winner cold be declared.
In the case of the member of House of Representatives, Adekoya who was dragged before the tribunal by the candidate of APC, Ismail Biyi, the Tribunal said the allegation of irregularities and non-compliance with the electoral law have been substantially proven.
The INEC had awarded 33,660 votes to the PDP candidate while the APC got 24,709 votes which were declared unlawful by the Tribunal.
The tribunal however, said total of 29,746 votes were unlawful and subsequently canceled and deducted from the total votes of the candidates.
The tribunal deducted 10,338 from 24,709 awarded to the APC and declared 14,371 lawful votes cast for the APC . It also deducted 19,408 votes from 33,660 awarded by INEC to PDP and declared that the 24234 votes were lawful votes cast for the PDP.
In its judgement, the Tribunal ordered that a fresh election be conducted in the affected areas within 90 days and add the total lawful votes to the total result recorded from the rerun before the winner is declared.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has sacked five members of State House of Assembly and has ordered rerun in those constituencies within 90 days.
The tribunal has also dismissed fve petitions for lack in merit.
The Petitions which were strike out were ; the APC candidate in Sagamu constituency 11, Samuel Solarin against the PDP candidate, Mojeed Olusegun, the APC candidate in Ijebu North/East Abayomi Fasua against PDP Candidate, Olujimi Otukoya.
Others were Olaofe Olayinka of Unity Party of Nigeria who complained being excluded from the contest dragged Akintayo Juliana of the PDP from Yewa South before the tribunal.
The tribunal also struck out the petition filed by Oluwatosin Adeluyi of the APC against Jemili Akingbade of the PDP from Imeko-Afon for lack in merit. While the petition of a former lawmaker of the state assembly from Yewa South Edunjobi Babatunde against Akintayo Juliana was dismissed.